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Utz will take Bachman to new places, president says

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When the Bachman Co. acquisition closes sometime this month, York County-based Utz Quality Foods Inc. will own one of the oldest pretzel brands in southcentral Pennsylvania.

It's a deal that will be good for Utz to expand product offerings, as well as add Reading-based Bachman's loyal customers, said Dylan Lissette, Utz's president and chief operating officer.

"We're filling niches for customer demand with more product offerings," he said.

In that way, the Bachman acquisition is similar to Utz's deals to buy Zapp's and Dirty brand potato chips last year, Lissette said. It also acquired a Massachusetts chip maker to expand its manufacturing capacity.

Bachman wasn't initially on Utz's radar because the Hanover snack food manufacturer most regularly expands through contiguous geographic direct-to-store sales of existing products, Lissette said. That's been the tested model for more than 90 years that continues to deliver double-digit growth of Utz products.

Utz's distribution network that stretches from Louisiana to Maine and west to Ohio was an asset to the Bachman brand, he said.

"Because of the geographic location of it, we're able to bring to the Bachman brands our system of distribution and expand them," Lissette said.

Utz told its customers, suppliers and employees about the acquisition in mid-August, Lissette said. The deal includes all intellectual property rights to Bachman brands as well as the manufacturing facility in Ephrata, where between 30 and 40 people work making its corn products. The companies are not releasing the acquisition's dollar value.

Bachman's Reading facilities will not be acquired and remain under direction of its current executive management. Those entities will change their name to Savor Street Foods Inc. and continue private label manufacturing of snack foods for Utz and other companies.

Private label manufacturing did not fit in with Utz's core business strategy, which is why the Reading facilities aren't part of the deal, Lissette said. But the continued business relationship will be important for both companies.

Utz is looking forward to the potential that Bachman will present the company, he said.

"It's a great brand and we believe we'll be able to expand that," Lissette said.

Editor's note: This story has been modified from a previous version to correct the products made at Bachman's Ephrata plant.

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