WESTON, Ore. -- A New Jersey company known for snack foods will expand into the frozen foods market with the purchase of the Weston community's ConAgra Foods plant.
J&J Snack Foods Corp. is purchasing the frozen handheld business of ConAgra Foods, including its manufacturing plants in Holly Ridge, N.C., and in Weston, for an undisclosed amount, the company said. The transaction, originally announced by the firm mid-April, was expected to close Friday.
Weston is about 17 miles south of Walla Walla.
The ownership change will add dough-enrobed products to J&J's menu of food products, including Superpretzel, Icee and Slush Puppie frozen drinks, California Churros and Funnel Cake Factory funnel cakes, among many others.
"This is a new product category for us," said Dennis G. Moore, J&J's senior vice president and chief financial officer, in a brief telephone interview this morning.
"It's a category that we've always looked at, and this opportunity came along," he said.
He said the transition from ConAgra to J&J Snack Foods should be relatively seamless for the consumer.
The roughly 100 employees at the Weston plant, 103 Depot St., were asked to reapply for their positions. Moore said that process is not yet complete but should be soon.
He said the goal for the Weston operation is growth.
"We plan to continue to operate the facility as it is and hopefully grow the business," he said.
The acquisition is not expected to contribute operating income to the company in the short term, according to the announcement. That portion of the ConAgra business generates about $50 million in annual sales, officials said.