Hershey Buys Pretzel Business

Nov. 10, 2021
Hershey Co. plans to buy a pretzel producer and co-manufacturer in a bid to expand its presence in salty snacks.

Hershey Co. plans to buy a pretzel producer and co-manufacturer in a bid to expand its presence in salty snacks.

Hershey announced a pair of deals, worth $1.2 billion, to acquire Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels and Pretzels Inc., which does contract manufacturing for Dot’s and others. The transactions, which must be approved by federal regulators, would include three Pretzel Inc.’s processing plants and four seasoning plants owned by Dot’s.

Hershey has been moving into salty snacks since the 2015 acquisition of Krave jerky and the 2018 acquisitions of Skinny Pop popcorn and Pirate’s Booty puffed snack brands. Acquiring the plants was a major attraction of the pretzel deals, because it will help simplify the supply chain for those products, Hershey CEO Michele Buck told the Wall Street Journal: “The ability to have a facility in house just reduces one level of that complexity.”

Dot’s, a private company based in North Dakota, had 55% of the growth in the pretzel market over the past year, Hershey says.

The deal must be approved by federal antitrust regulators. It is expected to close by the end of the year.

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