Nestle opens German pizza plant
by Eric Schroeder
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VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. has initiated production at its Wagner frozen pizza plant in Nonnweiler, Otzehausen, Germany. The company originally announced its intent to invest €50 million ($67 million) in the plant in 2011.
As a result of the plant opening, Nestle has stepped up its ability to produce Wagner-branded products, including Big Pizza, Piccolinis and Die Backfrische, while adding about 50 new jobs. In addition, the facility is able to make reduced-fat, whole grain, lactose-free and organic varieties of pizza.
“This is the most advanced production line for frozen pizza in Europe,” said Werner Bauer, chief technology officer for Nestle. “Our investment here has enabled us to continue delivering innovations such as Die Backfrische, which focuses on fresh ingredients and has been one of the most successful pizza frozen launches in recent years.”
Nestle said the start-up of the new facility is expected to boost Wagner’s pizza production to 350 million pizzas a year, up from 280 million previously. Wagner has about a 30% sales share of the German pizza market, Nestle said.
Nestle acquired a 49% share in Wagner in 2005, and increased it to 74% in 2010. The company has been trading as Nestle Wagner GmbH since January 2013.