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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 12, December 2011, Posted On: 11/20/2011

ConAgra Acquires National Pretzel Co.

Emily Jed
ConAgra Foods Inc., National Pretzel Co., Brookstone Holdings Inc., ConAgra private-label growth strategy, pretzel business, HK Anderson, Shultz, snack foods, vending machine snacks, vending foods

OMAHA, NE -- ConAgra Foods Inc. has agreed to acquire National Pretzel Co. from Brookstone Holdings Inc., continuing the packaged foods giant's strategy to grow its private-label food business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lancaster, PA-based National Pretzel makes private-label pretzel rods, sticks, braids and twists. Its brands include HK Anderson and Shultz.

National Pretzel's sales have grown about 7% annually, with total net sales approaching $200 million. It has three manufacturing facilities in California and Pennsylvania.

More than 700 National Pretzel employees will join ConAgra, whose brands include Swiss Miss, Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher's and Slim Jim. The acquisition is expected to conclude by yearend.

The National Pretzel deal adds another private-label line to the ConAgra portfolio, which already includes store-branded snack bars and fruit snacks. In 2010, ConAgra acquired private-label snack-bar maker Elan Nutrition in 2010 for $103 million.

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