HERSHEY, PA. — The Hershey Co. is making two acquisitions in the pretzel category for a total purchase price of approximately $1.2 billion. The two businesses being acquired are Dot’s Pretzels LLC and Pretzels Inc.
Dot’s Pretzels is the manufacturer of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels. Pretzels Inc. is a co-manufacturer of pretzels for Dot’s Pretzels and others.
“As the fastest growing US pretzel brand, Dot’s Pretzels would further accelerate our success in the permissible salty snack category, along with our successful SkinnyPop and Pirate’s Booty brands,” said Michele G. Buck, president and chief executive officer of The Hershey Co. “With a unique range of bold, distinctive seasonings and a flavorful crunch that creates a premium pretzel experience for consumers, Dot’s Pretzels stand apart from all other products in the pretzel category and represents 55% of the pretzel category’s growth during the past year.”
Headquartered in Fargo, ND, Dot’s Pretzels operates four manufacturing plants located in Goodyear, Ariz.; Velva, ND; Edgerton, Kan.; and Lenexa, Kan. Dot’s invested $15 million to open the Edgerton facility — its largest manufacturing plant — last year.
Dot’s Pretzels’ portfolio includes seasoned pretzel twists sold in a variety of package sizes, including personal size (1.5 oz), snack size (5 oz), family size (16 oz) and party size (32 oz). The company also offers Pretzel Crumble, which comes in a 10-oz bag and may be used as a breading or topping for a variety of food items.
“I created my pretzels to share with those people closest to me and have built the business with the idea of sharing them with everyone,” said Dot Henke, founder of Dot’s Pretzels. “With Hershey behind this amazing brand, I am confident that anyone who would like to enjoy these deliciously bold pretzels will have the opportunity.”
Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Bluffton, Ind., Pretzels Inc. operates three manufacturing plants located in Bluffton and Plymouth, Ind., and Lawrence, Kan. The 150,000-square-foot facility in Lawrence recently became operational and comes on the heels of a 120,000-square-foot expansion that took place earlier this year at the Plymouth plant. The company manufactures and distributes traditional, peanut butter filled, flavored, seasonal, and gluten-free pretzels, as well as extruded snack products, to a diverse customer base that includes leading grocers and national brands.
“Pretzels Inc. will help us expand Hershey’s snacking and production capabilities while keeping the special connection to Dot’s,” Ms. Buck said. “It will be important as we continue to grow this already fast-growing brand and create new products in the broader pretzel category.”
The Hershey Co. estimated sales for the two businesses to be approximately $275 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2021. The transactions are expected to close by the end of 2021.