Flowers Foods, the second largest producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers in the United States, plans to invest $31 million to expand its Oxford, Pennsylvania production facility, adding a new bread production line. In the future, Flowers also plans to add an $18 million bun production line to meet market demand.
George E. Deese, Flowers Foods' chairman and CEO, said "the company's plan is in keeping with Flowers' growth strategy to reach 75 percent of the U.S. population with its fresh baked foods and to grow sales 5 to 10 percent annually. "
Deese said the project will add 90,000 square feet to its Oxford bakery to house a high-speed bread line that will produce soft variety and specialty breads under Nature's Own and other company brands. The bread line, which is anticipated to be running by summer 2013, will employ approximately 77 people, bringing employment at the Oxford bakery to 222.
Bakery officials noted they anticipate the expansion will fall within a Keystone Opportunity Zone making it eligible for state and local loans and tax incentives.
"When we acquired Tasty Baking Company in 2011, we recognized the growth opportunity for the iconic 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. While this expansion will add bread capacity in our Tasty Oxford bakery, Tastykake snack cake production will continue at our Philadelphia Navy Yard and Oxford bakeries, " Deese explained.
Flowers acquired the Oxford bakery, along with the Tasty bakery in Philadelphia, last May. The Oxford bakery is currently 172,000 square feet, has five production lines for donuts, honey buns, and cakes sold under the popular Tastykake brand, employing 145 people.