Officials at Bob Evans Farms announced plans to close its food production plants in Springfield, Ohio, and Bidwell, Ohio, in late summer 2013.

Officials at Bob Evans Farms, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, announced plans to close its food production plants in Springfield, Ohio, and Bidwell, Ohio, in late summer 2013.

“These are difficult, but important, strategic decisions for Bob Evans – ones that will allow our company to continue to grow in Ohio and across the country,” says Steve Davis, chairman and CEO. “We recognize there are vast opportunities that lie ahead for Bob Evans Farms, and we are committed to making significant investments in Ohio and our other markets to realize those opportunities.”

The company’s strategy focuses on higher-growth opportunities such as packaged side dishes and convenience foods, according to Davis.

Approximately 110 plant workers will be impacted by next year’s closures. These employees are expected to maintain their positions until that time. The company has affirmed its commitment to helping affected employees through this transition and to placing as many employees as possible in other positions within the company by the time of the closures.

Bob Evans anticipates a total annual pre-tax benefit of approximately $7-8 million in fiscal 2015 from the production moves. As was announced in March, the company also will consolidate its transportation operations in Bidwell, Ohio, and Hillsdale, Mich., to a new transportation center in Springfield, Ohio. The new transportation center will be located near the distribution center that services its businesses at an estimated investment of $5 million with 110 jobs. It is anticipated that nearly all transportation workers from Bidwell and Hillsdale will transfer to the new Springfield transportation center.

Other investments in the company’s home state of Ohio include well over $50 million over several years for the remodel of its 190 Ohio restaurants, approximately $40 million (after proceeds from the sale of the current campus) in a new corporate campus being built in New Albany, Ohio, and $4 million recently invested in the company’s original farm and homestead in Rio Grande, Ohio.

As part of the food production consolidation, Bob Evans will also invest approximately $23-26 million of capital to add lines to its food production facility in Sulphur Springs, Texas. Two new line extensions will increase production of ready-to-eat food products.