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Hershey to Grow Salty Snacks Portfolio With Dot's Pretzels Acquisition

Dot's represents 55 percent of the pretzel category's growth during the past year.

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. is adding another brand to its growing salty snacks portfolio with the acquisition of Dot's Pretzels LLC.

According to Hershey, the Dot's Pretzels deal is a perfect complement to its growing salty snacking portfolio and would create an opportunity to reach new consumers in new occasions, advancing the company's snacking powerhouse vision. 

"As the fastest growing U.S. pretzel brand, Dot's Pretzels would further accelerate our success in the permissible salty snack category, along with our successful SkinnyPop and Pirate's Booty brands," said The Hershey Co. President and CEO Michele Buck. "With a unique range of bold, distinctive seasonings and a flavorful crunch that creates a premium pretzel experience for consumers, Dot's Pretzels stand apart from all other products in the pretzel category and represents 55 percent of the pretzel category's growth during the past year."

Dot Henke created Dot's Pretzel more than a decade ago in her home kitchen in North Dakota. She built the business by holding it to the highest quality standards to ensure that each bag of Dot's Pretzels tastes as if it were made in Henke’s home kitchen using her original secret formula. 

"I created my pretzels to share with those people closest to me and have built the business with the idea of sharing them with everyone," said Henke. "With Hershey behind this amazing brand, I am confident that anyone who would like to enjoy these deliciously bold pretzels will have the opportunity."

Hershey will also expand its manufacturing capacity and innovation capabilities with the acquisition of Pretzels Inc. An affiliate of Peak Rock Capital, a private investment firm with numerous investments in the food and beverage industry, Pretzels Inc. is a co-manufacturer of pretzels for Dot's Pretzels.

Based in Bluffton, Ind., Pretzels Inc. operates three manufacturing locations in Indiana and Kansas. When the transactions are completed, these three manufacturing locations would be in addition to four pretzel-seasoning facilities to be acquired with Dot's.

The acquisition of Pretzels Inc. will provide Hershey with deep pretzel category and product expertise and the manufacturing capabilities to support Dot's growth and future pretzel innovation as well as the continued growth in the entire pretzel category through Pretzels Inc.'s leading co-manufacturing capabilities, according to the companies.

"Pretzels Inc. will help us expand Hershey's snacking and production capabilities while keeping the special connection to Dot's," noted Buck. "It will be important as we continue to grow this already fast-growing brand and create new products in the broader pretzel category."

The $1.2 billion acquisitions are subject to customary regulatory approvals and are expected to close by the end of the year.

Pennsylvania-based The Hershey Co. has more than 90 brands around the world that drive more than $8.1 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey's, Reese's, Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, Ice Breakers, SkinnyPop, and Pirate's Booty.

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