Utz Brands is the youngest 100-year-old company in the nation. Its storied history also tells the tale of two snack manufacturing businesses that have succeeded over the years in two different but complementary ways.
Founded in 1921 by William (Bill) and Salie Utz, the Hanover, Pa., snack maker expanded organically over its first 90 years. Since 2010, however, Utz has made 16 acquisitions, making it one of the fastest-growing snack operators with more than $1.1 billion in annual sales. Moreover, last year the company began a new phase, publicly trading on the New York Stock Exchange and officially becoming known as Utz Brands Inc.
From a manufacturing perspective, Tucker Lawrence, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer, has been through it all. When he joined Utz 17 years ago, the then family-owned business had just built its fourth snack food facility in Hanover. Today, the public company has about 3,300 associates, many of whom work in 15 plants that produce more than 5.5 million lbs weekly of potato chips, pretzels and more.
“If you look at Utz over the past 100 years, the last 10 years have been transformational through our acquisitions along with our growth with new brands and production facilities,” Mr. Lawrence told Baking & Snack for its October issue. “The other part of our history is our growth internally, helped by our productivity and manufacturing execution systems, equipment and technology advancements, and of course, our talented and dedicated associates across the entire supply chain.”