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Zapp potato chips to be acquired by Utz Quality Foods

 Zapp's Potato Chips
Zappe Endeavors LLC, the maker of Zapp’s potato chips, has agreed to be acquired by Utz Quality Foods Inc., the largest independently held snack food company in the country.

Zappe President Rod Olson said Thursday that an internal document obtained by The Advocate was intended to notify employees, buyers and vendors and said the deal is “friendly, not hostile.”

Olson said he would not discuss the particulars of the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter.

But he did expound on the letter, which said the deal would increase sales, gain wider distribution and increase employment for the Gramercy-based company.

“It’s good news for the long term and the short term for Zapp’s, Dirty and California chip brands,” Olson said. “It will be very good at all levels — for management, the owners, the Zappe family and employees.”

Olson said the deal appealed to Zappe Endeavors because Utz, of Hanover, Pa., showed a commitment to making sure the Zapp’s brand endures.

“They are committed to growing the Zapp’s brand,” he said. “They’re not buying us to come down and fire y’all.”

Olson, a longtime general manager who was named president after founder Ron Zappe died in June, said another goal was to make sure the company remained in Gramercy, where it started in 1985.

Zappe Endeavors has 100 employees in Louisiana, 50 employees in California and plans for 30 to 50 employees in Pennsylvania.

Utz, according to the letter, has more than 2,400 employees in four manufacturing facilities in Hanover. The company could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Zappe Endeavors had been finding ways to grow beyond the region for more than a decade. The company acquired the Dirty Potato Chip line in the mid-1990s and factories in California and Pennsylvania last decade.

Zapp’s was founded in 1985 by Zappe, a lifelong entrepreneur who turned away from the oilfield after the oil bust and started what would become affectionately known as “The Little Chippery in Gramercy” and one of the state’s most enduring brands.
The following Companies or Brands mentioned in or related to this item are listed in the PotatoPro Directories: Zapps potato chips, Utz Quality Foods, Inc.
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