Bakery giant Flowers Foods has increased its presence in western US states with the purchase of bread manufacturer Papa Pita Bakery.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, includes a 270,000 sq ft facility in Utah, Papa Pita Bakery’s co-manufacturing business and direct-store-distribution channels.

Papa Pita Bakery manufactures and distributes products including bagels, tortillas, English muffins and flatbreads. Its brands include Great Grains, Bubba’s Bagels and Maya’s Tortillas.

The deal follows Flowers’ disposal of its bakery arm in Utah’s neighbouring state of Arizona back in the summer.

Georgia-headquartered Flowers announced the wind up of production at Holsum Bakery in August, citing unfeasible modernisation costs.

Flowers, which owns the Nature’s Own brand and is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the US, posted sales of US$4.3bn in 2021.

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Ryals McMullian, Flowers’ president and CEO, said: “Papa Pita began as a family business and is an inspiring example of the American dream. Its leaders have grown the company strategically through product and category expansions.

“Additionally, its focus on exceptional product quality and operational excellence aligns strongly with the Flowers culture. Papa Pita has been an important co-manufacturer of Flowers products for many years, and I’m thrilled about the opportunity to realize manufacturing and distribution synergies, in addition to expanding our geographic reach and welcoming the passionate Papa Pita team to Flowers.”

Papa Pita Bakery CEO Farzad Mohebbi added: “Our success has been a direct result of the dedication of our hard-working team members, their ability to think big about what’s possible, and a constant focus on how we can grow. Flowers shares these same traits, making our partnership a great fit.”

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Just Food opinion pages, July 2022: Why the US fresh bread market isn’t as stale as some think