Pinnacle Foods Inc. (NYSE: PF),a leading producer, marketer and distributor of high-quality branded food products in the U.S., has announced plans to locate a manufacturing facility in Hagerstown. The company initially plans to create 85 to 125 full-time jobs in Hagerstown by December 2018.
The facility, formerly owned by Unilever, will produce Pinnacle's gardein brand of plant-based protein. In addition to gardein's current manufacturing, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, production will now expand to include an East Coast presence with Pinnacle's acquisition of the Hagerstown property.
The brand's frozen, plant-based foods serve as alternatives for traditional animal-based products such as chicken strips and tenders, ground beef and fish fillets. Pinnacle is known for its iconic brands such as Birds Eye, Duncan Hines, Wish-Bone, Log Cabin and others.
"Pinnacle is pleased to be establishing a manufacturing presence in Hagerstown and working with both the community and the state of Maryland," said Robert J. Gamgort, Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Foods. "Gardein is a rapidly-growing, health and wellness brand that continues to expand its award-winning product offering and retail footprint, and this new facility will provide important capacity to enable the brand's continued growth."
To assist the company with initial project costs, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) has approved a $312,500 conditional loan through the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF). Once the company has hit an initial employment milestone, the Department has approved a second conditional loan disbursement of $187,500. Washington County has approved a similar funding package totaling $500,000 based on achieving jobs goals.
"Working with our partners in Washington County and the City of Hagerstown, we are proud to welcome Pinnacle Foods, a Fortune 1000 company, to Maryland," said Governor Larry Hogan. "Our entire administration is focused on providing our hardworking Maryland citizens with jobs and a strong economy, and seeing companies like Pinnacle Foods choose to invest in our state is a shining example of the progress we are making."
In addition to State and County assistance, the City of Hagerstown has approved a loan-to-grant of up to $100,000 for the creation of up to 200 jobs.