Perhaps one of the brand names most associated with its home state of Pennsylvania, Utz potato chips are legendary, therefore the latest company news might make locals feel a little salty – Utz says it plans to close its oldest plant, the Carlisle Street factory in Hanover, PA.
In a bid to “support volume growth and reduce costs,” Utz has announced its lowest volume plant, which currently produces kettle chips for the company’s Utz, Grandma Utz, and Zapp’s brands will close in early 2024 after nearly 75 years.
Utz has been active in the years leading up to this. Since 2020, the company has nabbed Vitner’s and On the Border, as well as the latter’s largest tortilla chip manufacturer, Festida Foods. Since then, the company added RW Garcia, Clem Snacks and J&D Snacks.
Cumulatively, the acquisition activity supports the company’s line that this closure is more about dedicated streamlining than actually scaling back. Utz says no job losses will come of the plant shutdown and that the kettle chip production will be moved to other facilities, including one in Kings Mountain, NC that Utz purchased last year.
But Utz isn’t even done. The food company says it has also sold a plant in Bluffton, Indiana and has listed for sale two others – one in Louisiana that was damaged by Hurricane Ida and never reopened, as well as its plant in Birmingham, Alabama, which has been idle since June.
In all, the efforts will leave the company with 13 active plants and, hopefully, higher profit margins.
And the company will bring some good news to Hanover in all of this, after all – part of its latest efforts also includes building a brand new, 650,000 square foot distribution center that will be located in the company’s hometown.