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The Schwan Food Company (Schwan) announced the formation of Schwan’s Chef Collective, a team of up-and-coming chefs from across the United States who will assist in developing the next generation of Schwan-branded frozen foods. The announcement comes on the heels of the company’s simplicity ingredient initiative announcement, a commitment to removing four ingredient groups from foods sold by every subsidiary of Schwan, including Schwan’s Home Service Inc., Schwan’s Consumer Brands Inc., and Schwan’s Food Service Inc.
“We believe the Schwan’s Chef Collective will help us change the way people think about the frozen-food category," says Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO of The Schwan Food Company. "We are proud to work with these talented chefs to make a spectrum of great food—indulgent-to-wholesome, convenient-to-authentic, and simple-to-sophisticated—with the goal of exciting our retail, food-service and home-delivery customers."
As a part of Schwan’s Chef Collective, chefs will partner with the Schwan culinary team based in Marshall, Minnesota. The inaugural team includes seven accomplished chefs external to the company who have honed their crafts in diverse culinary ventures across the country—from restaurants to food trucks and even the development of cookbooks. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective and is tasked with scouting emerging ingredients, cooking methods, and global cuisines to continually influence the innovation of Schwan foods.
“Our team is constantly eating, tasting and sampling, and we gain insights from other leaders in the food world,” says Stacey Fowler, senior vice president of product innovation and development at The Schwan Food Company. “Schwan’s Chef Collective enables us to dive deeper into emerging trends and consumers' ever changing lifestyles to develop new, delicious, and wholesome recipes with quality ingredients.”
Schwan’s Chef Collective member and award-winning Minneapolis Chef Jamie Malone adds, “Food is a huge part of our culture, our relationships and our lifestyles. With the Schwan’s Chef Collective, we will use our own personal experiences and approach to cooking to develop a new generation of frozen foods that meet the needs of families today.”
To get started, Schwan’s Chef Collective gathered twice in Minnesota, visiting 14 restaurants in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and the company’s research and development facilities. During the meetings, the team worked to understand the foods made and sold by Schwan subsidiaries and brainstormed new ideas to create food that tastes good, caters to current trends and wellness goals, and offers amazing convenience. The results of their work will start to show in new recipes, events, and more in the near future. The company plans to expand the program, engaging with more chefs in the coming months.
Schwan’s Chef Collective is the next step in the company’s pledge to provide food that meets a variety of consumer needs, including certified gluten-free, certified organic, no sugar added, low sodium, low calorie, vegetarian, and heart-healthy options that are already available in its broad food portfolio. These changes are being made with careful attention to meeting and exceeding consumer expectations for taste and quality.