Schwan’s Food Service, Inc. announced that 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.
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 US foodservice market. Expanded Asian offerings can be found on SchwansFoodservice.com under the Chef One™, Twin Marquis® and Minh® brands.
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% of students said they want Asian food on the menu because it tastes great and they like the variety of sauces and flavors. Fifty% 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% of the US population, are another consumer group showing their taste for Asian cuisines. Compared to other ethnic cuisines like Mexican, Italian and Mediterranean, 69% of millennials said they prefer Chinese food. This was the No. 2 choice behind Mexican, which had 72% preference.2
Additionally, with the dining out disruptions caused by COVID-19, 30% of consumers said Asian food is what they craved and missed most from restaurants. This was at No. 3, behind seafood at 31% and Mexican food at 36%. Pizza was No. 4 with 29%.3
Chef Uno Immanivong, owner of Red Stix Street Food restaurant in Dallas, 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.
1 Schwan's Proprietary Study: K12 Channel Asian Learning 2019
2 Technomic, 2016 Generational CTR
3 Datassentials COVID-19 Report 17: The Next Phase 2020