Schwan’s Co. has elevated Brian Schiegg into the CEO role at the South Korea-owned retail and foodservice supplier of pizza, meals and desserts.

Schiegg replaces retired CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios, who led the Bloomington, Minnesota-based company for more than a decade.

Most recently the president of Schwan’s consumer brands business, including the likes of Red Baron and Tony’s pizza, Mrs Smith’s desserts and Bibigo Asian-style foods, Schiegg joined the company early in 2021.

Schwan’s comes under the umbrella company CJ Foods. Both are subsidiaries of South Korea conglomerate CH CheilJedang, which as well as food and beverages is engaged in logistics, bio-technology and pharmaceuticals.

Minsok Pak, the chair of the Schwan’s board and also CEO of CJ Foods, said: “The North American market is critical to our growth strategy and I personally look forward to working with Brian to achieve our vision of becoming the number one provider of ethnic cuisine in the United States.

“Brian has the full support and confidence of the company’s board of directors and CJ Foods’ leadership to maintain Schwan’s momentum and propel our company to even greater heights in the future.”

Schiegg’s career history includes the chief operating officer of snacks, sauces and juice drinks maker Ocean Spray Cranberries, along with various roles at US food major Mars covering more than 17 years.

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“Schwan’s is an extremely strong company with an amazing heritage and we have built an extraordinary team of very talented people,” Schiegg said.

“Together, we will work to build upon our position as a leader in the North American market and continue to pursue our plans for long-term growth.”

The business also produces the Pagoda brand of Asian-style foods, along with the lines Hearth & Fire, Big Daddy’s, Villa Prima and Freschetta pizza.

Schwan’s announced last week it plans to add a new regional office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to support its Asian-style foods manufacturing facility. The 700,000 square-foot plant got off the ground in 2021.

Once complete, the factory will produce the Bibigo food range, along with shelf-stable and frozen snacks and appetisers.

Schiegg said the investment in the plant “will help us strengthen our position in one of the fastest-growing food categories” in the US.

Revealing the plans for the site in 2021, at an estimated cost of $500m, Schwan’s said the Foundation Park facility would create more than 600 jobs by 2025.