The Hershey Company announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire two manufacturing plants from Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing, a recognized leader in popcorn production and co-packing, and a co-manufacturer of Hershey's SkinnyPop brand. Through the deal, Hershey will acquire Weaver's operations in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Whitestown, Indiana.
The acquisition is designed to enable the company to sustain strong growth for its SkinnyPop brand by strengthening internal supply chain capabilities in combination with its network of strategic suppliers and co-manufacturers.
"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," Kristen Riggs, president, Salty Snacks, The Hershey Company, said in the announcement. "In fact, SkinnyPop has been number one in retail sales growth for ready-to-eat popcorn over the last three years."
As the company continues to elevate its position as a leading snacking powerhouse, these new facilities will also enable more flexibility, agility and resiliency across its growing salty snacks supply chain network. A year ago, Hershey acquired Pretzels Inc. to expand its salty snacks manufacturing capabilities.
"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," Jason Reiman, chief supply chain officer, The Hershey Company, said in the announcement. "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."
Like Hershey, Weaver has a strong manufacturing heritage, tracing its roots back nearly a century. As a family-owned and operated company, over the last 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," Jason Kashman, chief executive officer, Weaver Popcorn, said in the announcement. "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.