Kraft Heinz will sell to JR Simplot the Oregon factory where Tater Tots were first made, along with the responsibility for manufacturing its Ore-Ida-branded products.
The plant in Ontario, near the Idaho border, was the birthplace in the 1950s of Tater Tots, the iconic nuggets formed from shavings of potatoes being cut into french fries. The business developed into Ore-Ida, which Kraft Foods bought in 1965.
Under what Kraft Heinz described as a “multi-year agreement,” Simplot will operate the plant and will be the exclusive manufacturer for Ore-Ida. Simplot is “committing to make capital investments as needed to meet elevated demand,” according to a statement from Kraft Heinz.
“The expertise and innovation that the J.R. Simplot Company will bring to the brand is unrivaled, and thanks to our exclusive strategic supply partnership, we’ll now be able to bring new and expanded offerings from Ore-Ida to market faster than we ever have before,” Renee Peets, senior vice president for North America procurement at Kraft Heinz, said in the statement.
The facility has about 600 employees, who will be offered “pay and benefits comparable to that provided to similarly situated Simplot employees,” the statement said.