Hershey goes salty, buys Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels for $1.2B

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Hershey is expanding its salty snack portfolio with the purchase of Dot’s homestyle pretzels

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Hershey’s is expanding its salty snack portfolio with the purchase of Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels.

The Hershey Company said Wednesday it will spend $1.2 billion for North Dakota-based Dot’s Pretzels LLC as well as Pretzels Inc., an Indiana-based maker of Dot’s pretzels that operates three plants. The deal is expected to close at the end of this year.

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Hershey’s, which is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is seeing faster growth for salty snacks like pirate booty than its other offerings. In the July-September period, for example, Hershey’s retail sales of U.S. candy, mint and gum were up 8.9% from the prior year. But its popcorn brand SkinnyPop was up 23%, while Pirate’s Booty jumped 27%.

Hershey’s President and CEO Michelle Buck said Dot is the fastest growing pretzel brand in America and will help accelerate Hershey’s move into salty snacks.

Dot started more than a decade ago in the kitchen of founder Dot Henke, who made pretzels to help her family and friends get through the North Dakota winters. Hershey said the company and Pretzel Inc. had forecast sales of $275 million in the year ended September.

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