SAINT-AUGUSTIN-DE-DESMAURES, QUE. — Leclerc Foods USA, a maker of cookies, snack bars and crackers, has acquired a 166,500-square-foot building in Phoenix to expand its food manufacturing operations.

“This acquisition fits our business vision and corporate development strategy,” said Denis Leclerc, president. “It will allow us to position ourselves near our U.S. clients as well as hone in on food trends in the U.S. West coast.”

Leclerc said it will invest nearly $50 million in the facility over a three- to five-year period, equipping the plant with a new production line for nutritional bars and designing it to offer consumers a full selection of organic and non-bioengineered-free products.

“Not only are we increasing our production capacity, but we will also achieve substantial savings on transportation costs by being closer to key markets,” Mr. Leclerc said.

The move comes about a year after Leclerc announced plans to expand its Kingsport, Tenn., plant to add production for granola bars and baked bars.

Founded in 1905, Leclerc Foods has more than 700 employees and operates six facilities: two in Quebec City and one each in Hawkesbury, Ont.; Montgomery, Pa.; Kingsport, Tenn.; and Phoenix.