Schwan’s Food Service announced it has joined forces with fellow CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ) subsidiary, TMI Trading, to offer a wide array of 100-plus authentic Asian food menu solutions for foodservice operators in the United States. Together, CJCJ, Schwan’s and TMI are bringing their complementary Asian food heritages, expertise and capabilities to market as a single portfolio to drive Asian category growth for foodservice distributors and operators nationwide.
Offering an Unmatched Asian Food Portfolio
As a part of this announcement, Schwan’s Food Service has acquired a portion of TMI Trading’s foodservice business and is now offering more than 60 products made by TMI Trading. The combined product portfolio provides operators with everything from egg rolls and dumplings, to noodles and fried rice, to stir fry kits and sauces — establishing the most authentic and complete Asian food offering in the U.S. foodservice market. Expanded Asian offerings can be found on SchwansFoodservice.com under the Chef One™, Twin Marquis® and Minh® brands.
“At Schwan’s Food Service, we may be best known for having the most complete pizza portfolio in the foodservice industry, and we have offered some of the best egg rolls on the market for more than three decades,” said Schwan’s Food Service President Jacob Berning. “Now, as a part of CJ, we are teaming up with TMI to expand our Asian foodservice menu offerings and provide leadership and innovation in the Asian foods category for our customers in the United States.”
“Since the start of COVID-19, we have seen much of the foodservice industry — including many of our long-time customers — faced with unprecedented challenges in serving their consumers,” said Berning. “With 65 years of combined experience providing Asian food in the foodservice industry, the Schwan’s Food Service and TMI Trading teams are eager to demonstrate the depth of our Asian portfolio to deliver flexible and easy-to-use options that best serve operators’ needs in this difficult environment.”
Younger Generations Driving Asian Food Growth & Menu Opportunities
Asian food is rapidly growing in popularity in the United States, especially with younger consumers. In K-12 schools, where Schwan’s has more than four decades of experience, foodservice operators are hearing from their students the desire for more Asian food on menus. In a study completed by Schwan’s, 77 percent of students said they want Asian food on the menu because it tastes great and they like the variety of sauces and flavors. Fifty percent of students also said they want Asian food offered weekly or more often.1
Millennials, who were born from 1981-1996 and account for 25 percent of the U.S. population, are another consumer group showing their taste for Asian cuisines. Compared to other ethnic cuisines like Mexican, Italian and Mediterranean, 69 percent of millennials said they prefer Chinese food. This was the No. 2 choice behind Mexican, which had 72 percent preference.2
Additionally, with the dining out disruptions caused by COVID-19, 30 percent of consumers said Asian food is what they craved and missed most from restaurants. This was at No. 3, behind seafood at 31 percent and Mexican food at 36 percent. Pizza was No. 4 with 29 percent.3
Schwan’s / TMI Portfolio is Chef Approved
Chef Uno Immanivong, owner of Red Stix Street Food restaurant in Dallas, Texas, and a member of Schwan’s Chef Collective, has appreciated the quality and ease-of-use of TMI Trading products since she was a child as she grew up making homemade egg rolls with her family using TMI’s wrappers. Today, she continues to use TMI’s products at her restaurant. One product Chef Uno recently added to her menu at Red Stix Street Food was TMI Trading’s edamame dumplings. The product was added to her menu as demand increased for more plant-based and better-for-you options.
“Many consumers are requesting healthier options at the restaurant, while still wanting to satisfy that dumpling craving,” said Chef Uno. “What sets TMI dumplings apart from others is the high-quality ingredients that are used. The wrapper-to-filling proportion is perfect, and you can see the large identifiable pieces of edamame. It’s both healthy and hearty.”
About Schwan’s Food Service, Inc.
Schwan’s Food Service, Inc., a subsidiary of Schwan’s Company, markets value-added foods to public and private schools, universities, health-care facilities, convenience stores and chain restaurants. Well-established product lines include pizza, Asian-style foods, desserts and sandwiches. With strong brands like Big Daddy’s®, Tony’s®, Mrs. Smith’s®, Minh®, Villa Prima® and Beacon Street Cafe™, Schwan’s Food Service is taking the lead in providing product innovation to operators who value quality and service. CJ CheilJedang had acquired a majority stake in Schwan’s Company in February 2019.
TMI Trading, a subsidiary of CJ CheilJedang, is one of the largest Asian food manufacturers in the northeast portion of the United States, producing high-quality fresh noodles and wrappers, innovative dumplings, Asian-inspired appetizers along with providing ready-to-use sauces and more. With respected brands like Twin Marquis® and Chef One™, TMI Trading services retail stores and foodservice outlets nationwide, in addition to creating custom products and private-label items for numerous chains.
1 Schwan's Proprietary Study: K12 Channel Asian Learning 2019
2 Technomic, 2016 Generational CTR
3Datassentials COVID-19 Report 17: The Next Phase 2020