Utz Brands snags snack food facility

KINGS MOUNTAIN, NC. — Utz Quality Foods, LLC, a subsidiary of Utz Brands, Inc., has acquired a 125,000-square-foot snack food manufacturing plant in Kings Mountain, NC, from Evans Food Group Ltd., which does business as Benestar Brands, for $38.4 million.

The transaction includes an existing building, land and pork rind production equipment. Utz said it plans to convert the facility into a fully operational snack food manufacturing plant later this year, with the capability to expand the facility to 200,000 square feet.

“With continued growth and excitement for our snack food brands, we are very excited to expand our roots in North Carolina, where we will be adding over 115 new jobs over time,” said Cary Devore, chief operating officer of Utz Brands, Inc. “This is a strong step forward in optimizing our plant and logistics network, and it will allow us to in-source manufacturing across several product types that we currently outsource to some degree. This transaction increases our operational flexibility and will contribute to higher long-term margins over time, based on identifiable, multi-faceted cost synergies.”

Utz said acquiring the recently constructed facility “is quicker and more cost-effective than building from the ground up or renovating an existing facility.” The company said it intends to enlist Benestar as a supplier of pork pellets.

“As a vertically integrated manufacturer, we believe our operations will be optimized by supplying Utz with our Chicago-based pellet production, while selling the downstream manufacturing operations to Utz,” said Bruce Myers, president of Benestar. “This type of partnership will only enhance operations of both companies going forward.”

Utz’ portfolio of products includes potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, cheese balls and pork rinds sold under such brands as Utz, On The Border, Chips & Dips, Golden Flake, Zapp’s, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, Hawaiian Brand and Tortiyahs! 

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