In Kings Mountain, Utz Quality Foods, LLC has acquired a 125,000-square-foot snack food manufacturing plant. The subsidiary of Utz Brands, Inc. plans to expand the North Carolina facility and expects to add more than 115 new jobs.
Utz acquired the facility from Evans Food Group Ltd., which does business as Benestar Brands, for $38.4 million. The transaction includes an existing building, land, and pork rind production equipment. Utz plans to convert the facility into a fully operational snack food manufacturing plant later this year, with the capability to expand the facility to 200,000 square feet.
“With continued growth and excitement for our snack food brands, we are very excited to expand our roots in North Carolina, where we will be adding over 115 new jobs over time,” said Cary Devore, chief operating officer of Utz Brands, Inc. “This is a strong step forward in optimizing our plant and logistics network, and it will allow us to in-source manufacturing across several product types that we currently outsource to some degree. This transaction increases our operational flexibility and will contribute to higher long-term margins over time, based on identifiable, multi-faceted cost synergies.”
The new Kings Mountain facility will support increased demand for Utz’s brands in the Southeast, Northeast, and Mid-South regions, which grew 14.4%, 14.5%, and 15% respectively for the 26-week period ending March 20, 2022.
Acquiring the recently constructed facility is quicker and more cost-effective than building from the ground up or renovating an existing facility, according to Utz. The new facility contains state of the art high-speed pork find manufacturing lines and will enable multi-line production across Utz’s key sub-categories in the near future.
The company intends to enlist Benestar as a supplier of pork pellets.
“As a vertically integrated manufacturer, we believe our operations will be optimized by supplying Utz with our Chicago-based pellet production, while selling the downstream manufacturing operations to Utz,” explained Bruce Myers, president of Benestar. “This type of partnership will only enhance operations of both companies going forward.”
D’Artagnan To Invest $4M In Granville County
In Granville County, D’Artagnan, Inc. recently announced a project that will create 23 new jobs. The specialty food company distributor will invest more than $4 million to locate a warehouse and distribution facility in the City of Oxford.
“Our whole team is excited about developing our sales in this beautiful region!” said Ariane Daguin, CEO of D’Artagnan. “We have closely followed the food scene in the Carolinas and are very happy to be able to contribute to it!”
New Jersey-based D’Artagnan provides high-quality meat, produce, and delicacies to high-end hotels and restaurants across the U.S. As the largest distribution site outside of New Jersey, the new Oxford location will support D’Artagnan’s expansion into the Southeast market.
“We are glad to welcome D’Artagnan to Granville County and North Carolina,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Our East Coast location and capable workforce will greatly benefit the company’s operations and growth here in the Southeast.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce and Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina worked with the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Vance-Granville Community College, Kerr-Tar Council of Governments, Granville County, Granville County Economic Development, Granville County Chamber, Granville County Public Schools, the City of Oxford, and the NCWorks Career Center Oxford to support D’Artagnan’s North Carolina expansion.
“We are extremely excited that D’Artagnan has selected Granville County to expand their company with this new distribution warehouse,” says Granville County Economic Development Director Harry Mills. “We have created a hub for food distribution and processing in Granville County that is attracting the attention of companies around the world. D’Artagnan choosing Granville County shows how integral our location and workforce is in the global food supply chain. I would like to thank the members of the Granville County Board of Commissioners, the Granville County Economic Development Advisory Board, Wills Hancock and his team at Century 21 Hancock Properties, and the City of Oxford for their hard work and support to attract a company like D’Artagnan to our county.”
Although wages will vary for each position, the average annual salary for the new positions is $46,170, which exceeds Granville County’s overall average annual wage of $45,096. The new jobs have the potential to create an annual payroll impact of more than $1 million.
A performance-based grant of $50,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help with D’Artagnan’s location to North Carolina. D’Artagnan must invest $3.7 million to receive One NC grant payments. All One NC grants require matching participation from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
“North Carolina is within a day’s drive of more than 170 million customers in the United States,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “When you combine our location with a transportation infrastructure and a skilled pipeline of talent, distributors across all industries have the winning ingredients for success.”