Snyder of Berlin sold to competitor Utz
Snyder of Berlin, a well-known Somerset County producer of potato chips, pretzels, popcorn and other snacks, has been sold to Utz Quality Foods, its York County-based competitor, the company said Wednesday.
Snyder of Berlin had been owned by food conglomerate Conagra Brands Inc. Utz bills itself as the largest family-managed, privately held, salty snack company in the nation. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Utz did not reveal the fate of the Snyder plant in Berlin, which employs about 320 workers. Kevin J. Brick, an Utz spokesman, could not be reached for comment.
Chicago-based Conagra’s sale of Snyder of Berlin was part of a broader reorganization in which Conagra divested six other snack brands that involved the delivery of products to the stores, which is not a primary business for Conagra, said Kristine Mulsord, a Conagra spokeswoman. Conagra had announced on Sept. 11 it was selling the brands and the deal was consummated on Monday, said Kristine Mulsord, a Conagra spokeswoman.
Conagra had acquired Sndyer’s in October 2018, when it bought Pinnacle Foods Inc., Mulsord said. Even with the sale, Conagra’s portfolio of snack foods is worth $2 billion, the company said.
Utz makes products in 11 plants in Pennsylvania and five other states, including potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks, corn chips, tortilla chips, popcorn, onion rings and pork skins. The snacks are distributed nationally and internationally, Utz says on its website.
The products that Utz and Snyder make compete for shelf space in Western Pennsylvania supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies.
The Berlin plant was built in 1947 and has been updated seven times, according to Snyder’s description on the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau website.
The Snyder food company dates back to the 1920s, when the Snyder family started cooking kettle chips in their kitchen in Hanover, York County.
In the 1940s, the Snyder family joined with other farmers and business owners to open a potato chip factory in Berlin, Somerset County, according to its website.
Snyder’s was split into two companies in the 1950s, one linked to Hanover and the other with Berlin.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .