Diamond Foods expanding in Oregon

by Eric Schroeder
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SAN FRANCISCO — Diamond Foods, Inc. on Aug. 16 said it will expand its production facility in Salem, Ore., to accommodate increased demand for its Kettle Brand potato chips. The expansion is expected to result in a 25% increase in production capacity and 12% increase in production workforce at the facility, Diamond Foods said.

Additionally, the expansion will facilitate broader distribution of Kettle products on the West coast and in the Southwest, allowing Kettle’s Beloit, Wis.-based facility to better serve Midwest and East coast markets.

“Kettle Chips was founded in Salem, and Diamond Foods is proud to be able to expand its commitment to the community by investing over $8 million to create new jobs and better serve our customers and partners,” said Michael J. Mendes, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Diamond Foods has a deep history of investing in our brands, plants, and supply chain to meet growing demand for our products, which has been foundational to our success.”

Groundbreaking on the expansion is set for the third quarter of 2010, with completion targeted for the second quarter of 2011.

The Salem facility opened in 1999 and currently has more than 180 production and distribution employees. The plant produces approximately half of the nation’s supply of the Kettle Brand product line, which includes potato chips, baked chips, Krinkle Cut chips, organic chips, tortilla chips, nuts and nut butters.

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