Utz acquires Vitner’s from Snak King

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Utz acquires Vitner’s from Snak King

By Dan Ochwat - 01/12/2021

Snak King, a leader in private brand and co-manufactured snack products, has been the primary producer of the Vitner’s chips and salty snacks products but will be handing that over to Utz.

Utz Brands, Hanover, Pa., and its subsidiary Utz Quality Foods, has entered into an agreement with Snak King to acquire assets related to the Vitner’s brand for $25 million.

The assets include the intellectual property, including the Vitner’s trademark, and direct-store-delivery distribution assets for Vitner’s products.

Based in Chicago, Vitner’s is an iconic brand in the area with a large line of potato chips, cheese snacks, corn snacks and popcorn that will bolster the Utz company from the seventh ranked producer of salty snacks in the Chicago market to the fourth. The Chicago market is listed as the fourth largest salty snack market in the United States with approximately $688 million in annual retail sales, per IRI.

With the acquisition, Utz plans to transition manufacturing of most of the Vitner’s products to its own manufacturing plants from Snak King, which has plants in Industry, Calif., and Freeport, Ill. Snak King is one of the largest producers of snacks for private label touching potato chips, tortilla chips, popcorn, kettle corn, caramel corn, extruded snacks (cheese puffs, cheese curls, nuggets), veggie chips, pop crisps, pork rinds and cracklins, as well as a complete offering of nut clusters, peanut and tree nut mixes, and specialty blends.

“We are thrilled to see the Vitner’s brand, established almost 95 years ago, become part of the Utz Brands platform,” said Barry Levin, CEO of Snak King. “Utz will be able to leverage its world-class family of brands and expertise in DSD operations to help Vitner’s continue to serve the Chicago market.”

Utz expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in 2021 and beyond.

“This strategic acquisition will make Utz a more significant competitor in the Chicago area. Combined with our recently announced acquisition of the On the Border tortilla chip, salsa and queso brand, we create a strong brand platform to better serve the primary salty snack channels and continue to expand rapidly in this important growth market,” said Dylan Lissette, CEO of Utz. “This transaction is a continuation of our strategy to successfully build long-term value and share by expanding in major metropolitan areas, like we did in New York City in 1994, Boston in 2004, Pittsburgh in 2006 and Atlanta in 2011. This acquisition strengthens our competitive position and will be a spark for continued growth in the Midwest.”