Pittsburgh's H.J. Heinz Company expects by mid-2009 to build a frozen entree plant on a 49-acre site in Florence County, S.C., according to release from South Carolina's Department of Commerce. State officials said the operation could employ up to 350 people and produce Weight Watchers,  Weight Watchers Smart Ones and Boston Market meals.
In its fiscal 2008 earnings report, Heinz noted: "Sales and operating income of the North American Consumer Products segment grew significantly, up 10% and 8% respectively. Organic sales (volume plus price) grew 7% with volume up 3.5% due primarily to Smart Ones frozen entrees and desserts, Boston Market frozen entrees and Classico pasta sauces.
"The Smart Ones volume performance was driven by successful new product introductions like Anytime Selections, Fruit Inspirations and various dessert items, as well as the impact of the launch of Smart Ones products into Canada. The Boston Market improvements were mainly driven by new products and increased consumption..."