Shopping list

Utz adds two direct-to-store delivery distributors to its growing shopping list as it strengthens its national presence

By acquiring third-party direct-to-store delivery distributors Clem Snacks, Inc. and J&D, the savory snack maker adds approximately 125 DSD routes in and around New York City, with which it says it can “to provide enhanced support to retailers with increased distribution facilities and sales management, higher service speeds and an expanded distribution system.”

As such, the deal will help the company accelerate market share gains in the savory snack category across the geographic region, it adds in the announcement.

The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, is the latest in a long list of acquisitions over the past two years, which have focused on strengthening its supply chain and distribution capabilities. in different parts of the East Coast and beyond, where it is headquartered and has cultivated a cult following for the past 100 years.

Most recently, Utz acquired the equity and some real estate assets of family-owned, high-end tortilla chip, cracker and corn chip maker RW Garcia in November for $56 million, bringing it manufacturing facilities in Nevada and North Carolina.

Along with bringing Utz “strong supply chain synergies” and its ability to expand distribution of its existing brands, Utz CEO Dylan Lissette said at the time that “the excellent track of RW Garcia in terms of innovation and production capacities better for you” would complete the offer of Utz. portfolio of better-for-you products, which is expected to exceed $100 million annually post-closing.

This agreement complemented that of June 2021 acquisitionfrom Michigan-based Festida Foods for $41 million, giving Utz production capabilities in the northern, eastern and western regions of the United States. The deal was touted by Lissette for its “strong supply chain synergies” for the Utz’ On The Boarder brand and its ability to expand into the Midwest.

Utz acquired the On the Boarder brand when it boughtTruco Enterprises for $480 million from Insignia Capital Group in late 2020 in a deal that significantly strengthened its national footprint.

The deal follows the acquisition of peanut butter-filled pretzel brand HK Anderson from Conagra for less than $10 million and preceded the acquisition of related intellectual property and direct-to-store delivery distribution assets. to Snak-King Corp’s Viner snack brand for $25 million last fall. .

These agreements were made possible by Utz’ decisionto team up with Collier Creek Holdings in mid-2020 and become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange as UTZ from August 2020.

The company’s strategy also seems to be paying off, with sales up 26.1% in third quarter​, driven primarily by positive contributions from acquisitions and organic net sales up 1% on top of strong organic growth of 10% in Q3 2020. The company also saw market share gains in grocery stores , mass and convenience stores, investments in improved distribution are well underway.

Given these positive results, the company will continue its shopping spree, with the CEO noting during the company’s last quarterly call in the fall that the acquisition pipeline remains strong with strategic and accretive opportunities.