THOMASVILLE, GA. — Flowers Foods Inc. plans to invest $31 million and add a bread production line to its facility in Oxford, Pa. The company said it will add a bun production line to the bakery in the future at an additional cost of approximately $18 million. The projects are based on anticipated economic support and assistance from the state of Pennsylvania, according to the company.
“When we acquired Tasty Baking Co. in 2011, we recognized the growth opportunity for the iconic Tastykake brand and for offering our Nature’s Own breads in Tasty’s markets,” said George E. Deese, chairman and chief executive officer. “We know the Oxford bakery has room to expand, and adding bread production there will enhance our ability to serve the market. While this expansion will add bread capacity in our Tasty Oxford bakery, Tastykake snack cake production will continue at our Philadelphia Navy Yard and Oxford bakeries.”
Mr. Deese said the project will add 90,000 square feet to the Oxford bakery to house a high-speed bread line that will produce soft variety and specialty bread under Nature’s Own and other company brands. Construction on the bread line is expected to begin this summer and be completed in 2013. The company did not provide a timeline for the installation of the bun production line.
Flowers Foods acquired the Oxford bakery, along with the Tasty bakery in Philadelphia, in May 2011. The Oxford bakery is currently 172,000 square feet, has five production lines for donuts, honey buns, and cakes sold under the Tastykake brand.
In addition to the facility expansion, Allen L. Shiver, president of Flowers Foods, said the company in two weeks will begin introducing Nature’s Own bread into Philadelphia supermarkets. Nature’s Own currently is available to more than 50% of the U.S. population, and Mr. Shiver said the market expansion will add another 1% of the population.
Mr. Shiver said Nature’s Own bread will be shipped fresh daily to Philadelphia from other Flowers bakeries until the Oxford bread line is operational.