ConAgra Aquires Private Brand Pretzel Maker

ConAgra Foods announced that it has agreed to acquire National Pretzel Company, based in Lancaster, Pa., from Brookstone Holdings. National Pretzel makes Private Brand pretzels in a variety of forms, including rods, sticks, braids and twists for a variety of customers, including many of the top grocery retailers in America. Financial terms of the transaction, expected to close within 30 days and subject to customary closing conditions, were not disclosed.

National Pretzel has posted net sales growth of 7 percent annually over the last three years, with total net sales approaching $200 million. The company has a leading position in the supply of private label pretzel items, and also posts sales under the HK Anderson and Shultz labels, both of which were included in the agreement. Also included in the agreement are three bakeries located in Lancaster, Pa., Hanover, Pa. and Visalia, Calif. More than 700 National Pretzel employees are expected to join ConAgra Foods when the transaction closes.

“Acquiring National Pretzel Company is consistent with our strategies for growth, which include expanding our private label footprint and growing in strategic adjacencies,” said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods. “National Pretzel is a leading private label manufacturer with a strong team in an attractive category. We are excited about its future growth potential and are confident we can profitably leverage our innovation and supply chain capabilities as we integrate our businesses after close of the transaction.”

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.