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July 15, 2021

Aspire Bakeries invests behind Otis Spunkmeyer growth

The US bakery business, formerly Aryzta’s North America operations, is putting cash behind production.

Aspire Bakeries, the US-based business that is Aryzta’s former North American operations, is to invest in production amid rising sales of Otis Spunkmeyer products.

The company, renamed by new owner private-equity firm Lindsay Goldberg, is expanding capacity at a plant in Newark in California.

Aspire Bakeries said it will add a frozen cookie dough line for its Otis Spunkmeyer-branded cookies, pointing to growing sales “within the cookie category, and in foodservice, convenience and retail channels”.

Laura Shannon, chief operations officer at Aspire Bakeries, said there had been “a surge in demand” for the cookies, without providing data.

The new production line increases Aspire Bakeries’ capacity for its Otis Spunkmeyer-branded and custom frozen cookie dough, which is sold to foodservice, retail and convenience operators in frozen pucks and baked fresh on-site. Production will start in the autumn.

Aspire Bakeries is also building a “sweet baked goods innovation lab” at the Newark factory.

Switzerland-based bakery group Aryzta sold its business in North America to an affiliate of US private-equity firm Lindsay Goldberg in March.

Aryzta had seen its sales and profits dwindle in recent few years. The company also accumulated a substantial debt pile, with former CEO Kevin Toland, who left the company in November, instigating the disposal of non-core assets. In the meantime, Aryzta’s two largest investors – Cobas Asset Management and Veraison Capital – had been calling for more disposals, and pressed for a simplified business model to turn around the company. Aryzta is now focusing its efforts on Europe and Asia Pacific.

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