USA- American chocolate manufacturer, Hershey, has acquired two popcorn manufacturing plants from Weaver Popcorn Manufacturing to set itself to tap into “increasing” consumer demand for snacks.

Hershey made this strategic acquisition to strengthen its SkinnyPop popcorn brand, bought from Amplify Snack for US$1.6bn in 2017 and currently co-manufactured by Pennsylvania Indiana-based Weaver.

Our acquisition of Weaver’s two facilities is a perfect example of how we’re investing to bring added capacity and strength across our portfolio of brands well into the future,” Jason Reiman, The Hershey Company’s chief supply chain officer, commented.  

The US confectionery giant says this investment will strengthen its internal supply chain capabilities to serve a growing market.

In response to consumer snacking trends, we continue to evolve our supply chain, making significant investments in the size, scale, and capabilities of our network, improving resiliency while we continue to strengthen existing supplier relationships,” Reiman added.  

This popcorn multi-acquisition follows Hershey’s investment in the Jonas Brothers’ brand Rob’s Backstage Popcorn earlier this month.

Hershey also suggests that its savory snacks portfolio would benefit from the move, adding: “As the company continues to elevate its position as a leading snacking powerhouse, these new facilities will also enable more flexibility, agility, and resiliency across its growing salty snacks supply chain network.”

Weaver’s CEO, Jason Kashman, remarked that Hershey was bringing on board excellent manufacturing operations and talent, insinuating that the companies are yet to specify whether there would be any changes to staff at either site.

Hershey is acquiring two best-in-class popcorn manufacturing operations that will enable continued growth in volume and quality, with teams at each location that have an unrivaled expertise,” Kashman commented. 

In April 2022, Weaver, which operates three independent entities, invested in Irish snack bar maker, Fulfil. 

Moreover, the company has set up a new North American venture with Fulfil’s founder Barry Connolly, of which Hershey is a minority shareholder.

Additionally, In 2021, Hershey expanded its salty snacks manufacturing operations by acquiring two domestic suppliers of pretzels, Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels and Pretzels Inc., for a combined US$1.2bn.

For all the latest grains industry news from Africa, the Middle East and the World, subscribe to our weekly NEWSLETTERS, follow us on LinkedIn and subscribe to our YouTube channel