H J  Heinz Company has announced that it has agreed to purchase privately-held Nancy's Specialty Foods Inc, producers of the Nancy's brand of premium appetizers, quiche entrees and desserts. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nancy's branded products, which are marketed primarily through US club stores and retail grocery outlets, as well as select retailers in Canada, generate approximately $64m in annual net sales, Heinz said. Nancy's branded products are also sold to restaurants and other foodservice venues in the United States.

The acquisition adds to Heinz's growing portfolio of frozen appetizers, snacks and dessert brands, which includes Delimex, TGI Friday's, Bagel Bites and Poppers.

Heinz Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer William R. Johnson said: "This acquisition is perfectly aligned with Heinz's strategy to focus on core areas of expertise to drive profitable growth," said Heinz president and CEO William R Johnson. "The addition of the Nancy's(R) products to our frozen snacks, appetizers and desserts business further cements Heinz as the premier supplier in this growing segment."

"This acquisition strengthens our presence not only in traditional retail, but also in the increasingly important club store channel, where the Nancy's brand is strong," said Heinz senior vice president and president of US consumer products Dave Moran. "Overall, the brand has enjoyed average annualized growth of 5% over the past three years. We see numerous opportunities to continue to grow this business, both through line extensions and additional usage opportunities in the growing breakfast and dessert segments."