US firm Flower Foods has announced plans to invest $31m in a factory in Pennsylvania it required last year following its takeover of Tasty Baking.
The company plans to add 90,000 sq ft to the 172 sq ft factory in Oxford, PA with the addition of a new bread production line.
Moving Flower brands to new markets
The move is expected to allow Flower Foods’ bread brand Nature’s Own to move into new markets.
Flower chairman and CEO George Deese said: “When we acquired Tasty Baking Company in 2011, we recognised the growth opportunity for the Tastykake brand and for offering our Nature's Own breads in Tasty's markets.“
“We know the Oxford bakery has room to expand, and adding bread production there will enhance our ability to serve the market.”
The expansion will bring 77 new jobs to the factory, currently manned by 145 employees.Another incentive for the expansion was the potential for funding from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and tax relief through the Keystone Opportunity Zone.
Flower said it hopes to grow its sales between 5 and 10% annually, with current sales around $3bn.
The Oxford bakery expansion forms part of this strategy as Flower plans to reach an additional 25% of the US population. It estimates that its current reach for the Nature’s Own brand extends to 50% of the US population.
Flower also announced that it will add a bun production line to the Oxford site in future at an additional cost of $18m.
The Oxford bakery currently has five production lines for doughnuts, honeybuns and cakes sold under the Tastykake brand.
Construction on the first expansion to incorporate a new bread line will begin this summer and Flower expects the line to be fully operational by summer 2013.