Hershey knots up two pretzel majors in $1.2bn deal

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

The acquisition of Dot's and Pretzels Inc. will help Hershey Company grow its permissible salty snacks portfolio and create new snacking occasions. Pic: GettyImages/AbbieImages
The acquisition of Dot's and Pretzels Inc. will help Hershey Company grow its permissible salty snacks portfolio and create new snacking occasions. Pic: GettyImages/AbbieImages

Related tags: Hershey company, Dot's Pretzels, Pretzels, Inc., better for you

The confectionery giant is expanding its footprint in the salty snacks scene with the acquisition of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels and contract manufacturer Pretzels Inc, in a deal worth $1.2bn.

Hershey first dipped its toe in the salty snacks category with the acquisition of Krave jerky in 2015. This was followed by the bolt on of Skinny Pop popcorn and Pirate’s Booty puffed snack brands in 2018.

Dot’s Pretzels

The latest agreement includes North Dakota-based Dot’s, the fastest-growing brand in the pretzel market, commanding 55% of category growth over the past year.

According to Hershey, Dot’s is a perfect complement to Hershey’s growing ‘permissible’ salty snacks portfolio and “would create an opportunity to reach new consumers in new occasions, advancing Hershey’s snacking powerhouse vision.”

Created more than a decade ago by founder Dot Henke, Dot’s Pretzels started as a home spun snack shared with family, friends and neighbours to get through long, cold North Dakota winters. That tradition continues today to ensure that each bag tastes as if it were made in Dot’s home kitchen.

“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 Henke.

“With Hershey behind this amazing brand, I am confident that anyone who would like to enjoy these deliciously bold pretzels will have the opportunity.”

Pretzels Inc.

Hershey has also entered into a definitive agreement with private investment firm Peak Rock Capital to acquire Pretzels Inc, a co-manufacturer for Dot’s and other customers. The Indiana-headquartered company operates three plants would give Hershey the product expertise and manufacturing capabilities to support Dot’s growth and innovate the entire pretzel category.

“Pretzels Inc. will help us expand Hershey’s snacking and production capabilities while keeping the special connection to Dot’s,”​ said Buck.

“It will be important as we continue to grow this already fast-growing brand and create new products in the broader pretzel category.”

The deals are expected to close by the end of the year, subject to approval by federal antitrust regulators.

Pennsylvania-headquartered Hershey Company is a global company with a 17,000-strong workforce creating more than 90 brands around the world that drive $8.1bn in annual revenues, including iconic brand like Kit Kat, Reese’s and Jolly Rancher.

For more than 125 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably.  Founder Milton Hershey created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and helping children succeed has become a cornerstone of the company’s mantra.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Hershey

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