Tortilla Chips / Industry News

Tyson Foods acquires Don Julio Foods' assets

Tyson Mexican Original Inc., a subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc., Springdale, Ark., has acquired the assets of Don Julio Foods, Clearfield, Utah. Don Julio makes flour and corn tortillas and salty snacks, such as potato chips, tortilla chips and pretzels, which it sells to retailers throughout the U.S. under the Don Julio Authentic and Clover Club brands.

Tyson Mexican Original is the second largest manufacturer of tortillas in the U.S. A majority of its sales are currently with foodservice customers. The acquisition is expected to put the company’s products on grocery store shelves throughout the U.S.

“Don Julio is an example of a brand that’s the right fit for Tyson Foods,” says Tyson Foods’ president and CEO Donnie Smith. “The people are great, the business expands on an existing tortilla business where we already have expertise, and it will allow us to offer our retail customers another product with a loyal consumer following.”

The management team, which includes Nate Fisher, son of company founder Craig Fisher, will continue to manage the operation. Don Julio employs about 50 people, the majority of whom are expected to become Tyson team members.

The acquisition includes all brands marketed by Don Julio, equipment and related assets. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tyson Foods purchased Mexican Original Inc. in 1983 to diversify its product offerings. Prior to the Don Julio acquisition, the company operated three dedicated tortilla operations in Fayetteville, Ark.; Portland, Ind.; and Sanford, N.C. Mexican Original tortillas and chips are sold to foodservice and restaurant customers. About 1,300 team members work for Mexican Original.

“We are excited to have the Don Julio folks join our Tyson Foods team,” says Richard Irvin, manager of operations for Mexican Original. “We look forward to working with them and helping them grow the Don Julio and Clover Club brands.”

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