US baker Flowers Foods is to expand a production facility it acquired through its purchase of regional rival Tasty Baking Co. last year.

Flowers plans to spend around US$31m on increasing capacity and adding a new production line at the facility in Oxford in Pennsylvania.

The new line is expected to add around 77 jobs to the bakery by next year. The company will also add a bun production line to the facility in the future to meet market demand at an additional cost of $18m.

George Deese, Flowers’ chairman and CEO, said yesterday (11 April) that the company’s plan is in keeping with its growth strategy to reach 75% of the US population with its baked foods and to grow sales 5% to 10% annually.

Deese said the project will add 90,000 sq ft to the Oxford bakery, which will produce a soft variety and speciality breads under Flowers’ brands including Nature ‘s Own.