Utz Quality Foods acquires peanut butter-filled pretzels brand H.K. Anderson

Image courtesy: Walmart

USA – Utz Brands, Inc., has announced that its subsidiary Utz Quality Foods, LLC has entered into a definitive agreement with Conagra Brands, Inc. to acquire certain assets of the H.K. Anderson business, a leading brand of peanut butter-filled pretzels.

The transaction, with a purchase price of less than $10 million which will be funded from current cash-on-hand, enables Utz to jump-start its entry into the growing filled pretzel segment, leveraging the synergies of its salty snack platform.

The acquisition includes intellectual property specific to the H.K. Anderson brand and does not include employees, facilities or equipment. The transaction is expected to close in November 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.

“As we look to increase our share in the rapidly expanding salty snack category through new products and geographic growth, this type of acquisition is tailor made for the synergies and growth opportunity afforded by our platform,” said Dylan Lissette, Chief Executive Officer of Utz Brands, Inc.

“As we look to increase our share in the rapidly expanding salty snack category through new products and geographic growth, this type of acquisition is tailor made for the synergies and growth opportunity afforded by our platform,”

Dylan Lissette – Chief Executive Officer, Utz Brands

Conagra acquired the National Pretzel Company, which included the H.K. Anderson brand, from Brookstone Holdings in 2011.

When Conagra sold its private label business to TreeHouse Foods for US$2.7 billion in 2015, it retained the H.K. Anderson brand because it had a strong connection to its existing Consumer Foods business.

But as Conagra has used M&A to stay ahead in the snacking space and acquired more trendy brands in recent years, including Angie’s Boomchickapop and Duke’s meat snacks, it makes sense to unload H.K. Anderson.

As consumers have sought out more convenient eating in recent years, snacking has become increasingly popular.

A recent study from Innova Market Insights found snacking is now an all-day practice for Americans, and salty snacks are especially popular both between meals and as a meal replacement.

Snacking is now preferred to eating meals for 59% of adults across the globe, according to a study from Mondelez and the Harris Poll. Even during the pandemic, consumers have stocked up on snacks. Utz seems to hope this acquisition will help it continue to generate positive buzz on Wall Street about its business.

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