Fuji Food Products, Inc., the Santa Fe Springs, Calif., fresh food manufacturing division of Meruelo Group, announced plans to open a new manufacturing facility in Fuji Foods South Elgin plantSouth Elgin, Ill., thus expanding its distribution into Midwestern United States.

Set to be fully operational in December 2014, the 40,000-square-foot plant will produce and specialize in fresh, refrigerated and ready-to-eat meals.

"Growth and momentum at Fuji has been consistent and continues," says Joe Marchica, chief executive officer. "We've come a long way, beginning as a family business that produced only sushi to regional supermarkets in Southern California, to expanding our business expertise as a fresh food manufacturer serving major supermarket and club chains on a national level. This will be our third owned facility to provide national distribution of our fresh, healthy, organic single-serve and family-size ready-to-eat meals."

"For more than 20 years, Fuji has been providing USDA- and FDA-approved foodservice and retail solutions for the changing palate, dietary demands and convenience needs of today's customers. This expansion of our footprint in the Midwest is a testament to Fuji's continued commitment to providing quality product and service," says Humberto Villagomez, chief operating officer.