Utz Brands, Inc. has announced that the Company’s subsidiary Utz Quality Foods, LLC has purchased a brand new, recently completed snack food manufacturing facility in Kings Mountain, North Carolina (the “Kings Mountain Facility”) from Evans Food Group Ltd. d/b/a Benestar Brands and related affiliates. The purchase includes the existing building, land and pork-rind production equipment. Utz will convert the space into a fully operational snack food manufacturing facility starting in 2022. The current 125,000 square foot facility can be expanded to 200,000 square feet and is expected to add over 115 local jobs.
Makers of iconic potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, cheese balls, pork rinds, and more, Utz’s portfolio of household favorite brands includes Utz, ON THE BORDER Chips & Dips, Golden Flake, Zapp's, Good Health, Boulder Canyon, Hawaiian Brand, and TORTIYAHS!, among other brands. The new Kings Mountain Facility will support the increased and growing demand for Utz's brands in the Southeast, Northeast, and Mid-South regions, which grew 14.4%, 14.5%, and 15.0%, respectively for the 26-week period ending March 20, 2022 (IRI Mulo-C). The new facility contains state of the art high-speed pork rind manufacturing lines and will enable multi-line production across Utz’s key sub-categories in the near future. Operationalizing the recently constructed Kings Mountain Facility is quicker and more cost-effective than building from the ground up or renovating an existing facility. Benestar will also become a supplier of pork pellets from its Chicago operations to Utz. The Transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings within 12-18 months due to the expected strong supply chain cost savings.
"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, 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.”
“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. This type of partnership will only enhance operations of both companies going forward,” stated Bruce Myers, president of Benestar.