Little Chute / WI. (kpc) Kraft Pizza Company broke ground for the expansion of its manufacturing plant in Little Chute, Wisconsin (USA). The pizza plant will add 100’000 square feet and a new parking lot as part of the expansion. A new pizza crust bakery line and assembly line will be installed, enabling a significant increase in production capacity. Construction beginning now is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with equipment installation and production start-up of the new lines planned for April 2009. Employment at the plant is anticipated to increase by approximately 300 with the expansion.
«This is an exciting day that highlights Kraft Pizza Company´s strong heritage and continuing commitment in Wisconsin», said Tim Cofer, President, Kraft Pizza Company. «We make almost all of our Kraft Pizza Company brands at our plants in Little Chute and Medford. We also purchase more than 75 percent of the cheese we use in our pizzas from Wisconsin».
The village of Little Chute´s fame as the home of popular frozen pizza goes back to the 1960s, to privately-held Jack´s Frozen Pizza Inc. In 1989, Jack´s purchased a supermarket distribution centre and renovated it as a manufacturing facility to support the burgeoning growth of the Jack´s brand in the Midwest. In 1992, Kraft Foods, which had earlier purchased Tombstone Pizza, acquired Jack´s. Within two years, the facility doubled capacity, and began a growth spiral as Wisconsin-made Jack´s and Tombstone brands became household words nationwide in the U.S., and DiGiorno Rising Crust Pizza made its debut in 1995, revolutionizing the frozen pizza industry. Today Kraft Pizza Company is the leader in the U.S. frozen pizza category, the company said in its statement.