HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire two manufacturing plants from Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing, a leader in popcorn production and co-packing, and a co-manufacturer of Hershey's SkinnyPop brand.
As part of the deal, Hershey will acquire Weaver's operations in Bethlehem, Pa., and Whitestown, Ind. The acquisition will enable Hershey to sustain strong growth for the SkinnyPop brand by strengthening internal supply chain capabilities in combination with its network of strategic suppliers and co-manufacturers, according to the company.
"Hershey has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, stemming from a combination of successful strategy execution and an increase in more snacking occasions among consumers," said Kristen Riggs, president, salty snacks, The Hershey Co. "In fact, SkinnyPop has been number one in retail sales growth for ready-to-eat popcorn over the last three years."
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The newly acquired facilities will provide more flexibility, agility and resiliency across The Hershey Co.'s growing salty snacks supply chain network. The candy and snack manufacturer previously acquired Pretzels Inc. to expand its salty snacks manufacturing capabilities. Pretzels Inc. is a co-manufacturer of pretzels for Dot's Pretzels, which Hershey acquired in 2021.
"In response to consumer snacking trends, we continue to evolve our supply chain, making significant investments in the size, scale and capabilities of our network, improving resiliency while we continue to strengthen existing supplier relationships," said The Hershey Co. Chief Supply Chain Officer Jason Reiman. "Our acquisition of Weaver's two facilities is a perfect example of how we're investing to bring added capacity and strength across our portfolio of brands well into the future."
Similar to Hershey, Weaver has a strong manufacturing heritage, tracing its roots back nearly a century. As a family-owned and operated company for more than 90 years, Weaver has developed into a vertically integrated business, delivering a broad array of popcorn products globally. The company now operates three independent entities, including Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing.
"Participating in the growth of SkinnyPop has been a rewarding experience for our team members," said Jason Kashman, CEO of Weaver Popcorn. "Hershey is acquiring two best-in-class popcorn manufacturing operations that will enable continued growth in volume and quality, with teams at each location that have an unrivaled expertise."
The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and will be financed with cash on hand, as well as short-term borrowings.
Pennsylvania-based The Hershey Co. has more than 100 brand names in approximately 80 countries that drive more than $8.9 billion in annual revenues, including Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop, Pirate's Booty and Dot's Homestyle Pretzels.