The Queen City was selected as a site in 1971 because of its proximity to the highway and two railroads bringing in raw materials. The plant was in full swing by 1972 and originally produced only dry spices and yellow mustard. Although it still makes mustard, it’s been years since dry spices were produced, Thomas says. “The original intent was to have the building also be used to warehouse some finished goods; however, due to growth and consolidations, a new warehouse was built in 1998,” he says.
Although 2008 was a tough year in business for many, the French’s manufacturing plant caught a big break when “the fried vegetable business came to Springfield from Wolcott, New York, and brought with it 3 million cases of annual volume,” Thomas says. “Since then, it has steadily increased.”
With McCormick’s recent acquisition, additional growth is expected as the company adds new products and expands its global footprint. Jill Pratt, vice president of marketing at McCormick, says in 2017 Crunchy Toppers in flavors such as red pepper and dill pickle were introduced to the market. The product’s goal is “extending usage of crispy veggie toppings outside of the holiday seasons to toppings for burgers, sandwiches, casseroles, salads and more,” Pratt says. And already this year, two types of mustard, stone ground Dijon and honey mustard dipping sauce, were added to the product line.