Schwan's Food Service, Marshall, Minn., said more focused new product development helped the company rise in a recent independent ranking of processors providing new offerings to the foodservice industry.

An operating division of The Schwan Food Company, Schwan's Food Service processes and distributes such products as Tony's Freschetta and Big Daddy's pizza; and Rising Run, Sushi and Minh egg rolls and Asian foods.

In its 2010 New Product Scorecard, foodservice industry new products researcherCognitio, Carmel, Ind., listed Schwan Food Service as the industry's 12th best developer of valuable new products. Cognitio said it surveyed 839 foodservice operators nationwide and that processor rankings represent the perceptions of those operators across the United States who are responsible for making menu and buying decisions.

Schwan said it rose from 22nd in the 2008 listing to 12th in the 2010 listing -- posting the largest single gain by a food company.

"We've made significant changes in our approach to innovation," says Jeff Duffin, vice president of marketing and product strategy.

Adds Mark Jansen, Schwan's Food Service president, "We've built a powerhouse culinary, sales and marketing team that places us among the best very in the industry. Starting with our core competencies and unique technologies, we've focused on expanding our portfolio -- including flatbread products, the new Rising Sun brand for our sushi line, increased whole grain products for schools and hand-held breakfast offerings, to name just a few."