Benestar Brands, a US-based snacks business recently formed by the new private-equity owners of Evans Food Group, plans to build a new production facility in North Carolina.
The business is investing US$24m in the plant in Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, with the project expected to create around 129 jobs.
Benestar was established last year by investment firm Highlander Partners in Dallas when it agreed a deal with the then owners, private-equity firm Wind Point Partners, to acquire pork rind manufacturer Evans Food Group. Evans already had five production facilities in the US and one in Mexico.
At the time, Highlander CEO Jeff Hull said Benestar would focus on the “better-for-you, salty snack category” with acquisitions a possibility.
In a statement dated 13 October from North Carolina governor Roy Cooper, the CEO of Benestar, Carl Lee Jr., said: “Over the past year, our company has expanded our portfolio of innovative savoury snacks, entering new categories that will be produced at this plant. We look forward to an ongoing partnership with the State of North Carolina as we expand our company.”
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Benestar’s new plant is supported by funds from the state’s Job Development Investment Grant, which will provide $1.2m over 12 years.
The Benestar portfolio amalgamates the brands of Evans and those inherited through acquisitions – Turkey Creek Snacks and Gayton Foods – under one roof to include Mac’s and Porq pork rinds, Chicas Chips and Caze de Oro. The business also supplies private label on the back of the Evans deal.