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January 2, 2020

Utz Quality Foods strikes deal with US peer Kitchen Cooked

Utz Quality Foods has added another US snacks peer to its portfolio, including direct-store-delivery assets, through a deal finalised on New Year's Eve.

By Dean Best

Utz Quality Foods has added another US snacks peer to its portfolio, including direct-store-delivery assets, through a deal finalised on New Year’s Eve.

A “merger” with Illinois-based Kitchen Cooked was announced on 31 December. Financial details were not disclosed.

The transaction includes the Kitchen Cooked snack food brand, direct-store-delivery operations and manufacturing assets. Direct-store-delivery, or DSD, sees manufacturers ship products directly to retail stores. 

“We are very excited about the opportunity to add this important snack food brand and set of capabilities to our portfolio,” Utz Quality Foods CEO Dylan Lissette said. “Since the 1930s, Kitchen Cooked brings a strong consumer following and unique craft heritage in its core markets. Their distribution and manufacturing capabilities, along with their customer relationships, enhance our ability to grow our Utz brand portfolio further west.”

Kitchen Cooked, headquartered in Farmington, Illinois, does business in central Illinois and eastern Iowa. Its product line includes potato chips, popcorn, pretzels and pork rinds.

Paul Blackhurst, vice president of Kitchen Cooked, said the company was “excited to partner with Utz and believe that this is a great way for the two organisations to come together to create an even stronger manufacturing and distribution network throughout Illinois and eastern Iowa”.

He added: “Utz and Kitchen Cooked have almost a century each of experience in bringing great tasting snacks to our communities, and we believe this transaction only strengthens our ability to do so going forward.”

In September, Utz Quality Foods snapped up the direct-store-delivery snacks business of US food major Conagra Brands. The acquisition included the Tim’s Cascade Snacks, Hawaiian Snacks, Erin’s, Snyder of Berlin and Husman’s brands.

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