General Mills invests $100M to expand Totino’s pizza plant

General Mills is investing $100 million to expand its Wellston, Ohio, facility, which manufactures Totino’s pizza and pizza rolls.

The project will create 30 new jobs, according to a press release from Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE), a local business group that partnered on incentives for the expansion. This would bring the Wellston plant’s total headcount to more than 1,000 full-time employees.

General Mills is receiving a tax credit from the Ohio Department of Development and a $400,000 grant from JobsOhio in collaboration with OhioSE to support building, machinery and equipment costs.

The company churns out more than 300 million Totino’s Party Pizzas each year. Sales of the brand rose more than 18% to hit $442 million in the 52 weeks ending Feb. 21, 2021, according to IRI data shared by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery.

General Mills is investing in expanding Totino’s production as it continues to resolve supply chain issues triggered by a pandemic-era surge in demand. Its Wellston plant has struggled to find sufficient quantities of key components including starch for cheeses, oils and some packaging, The New York Times reported. The problem was so severe earlier this year that it led to shortages of Totino’s pizza and pizza rolls at grocery stores. To work out a solution, General Mills created more than two dozen recipes for its pizza rolls, swapping different ingredients based on their availability. By March, the shortages faded, according to The New York Times.

General Mills also makes Pillsbury Pizza Crusts and supplies flour to pizzerias as part of its foodservice business. In May, General Mills announced plans to acquire TNT Crust, a manufacturer of frozen pizza crusts for regional and national pizza chains, foodservice distributors and retail outlets.