Mar 11, 2022Simplot inks exclusive deal with Ore-Ida, acquires Ontario, Oregon facility
The J.R. Simplot Company has agreed on an exclusive, multi-year agreement with Kraft Heinz naming Simplot as the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of Ore-Ida.
In the agreement, Simplot will take ownership of the existing processing location in Ontario, Oregon, near the Idaho border. Kraft Heinz will continue to own the Ore-Ida brand.
“We’re thrilled to welcome these employees to the J.R. Simplot Company and excited about the added capacity and distribution capabilities this acquisition provides,” said Mark McKellar, president of Simplot’s Food Group. “The Ore-Ida brand is well known and loved in many of the same communities where we do business and we’re thrilled to help ensure their continued success. With our combined history of high-quality frozen potato products and our continued dedication to the communities where we operate and the customers we serve, we have a bright future in front of us.”
Ore-Ida was founded in Ontario in 1949 and is a well-known brand in the retail frozen potato space in the U.S. The agreement expands Simplot’s processing and distribution capabilities and adds a number of job opportunities at the facility that currently employs approximately 600 people. The Ontario facility is in close proximity to Simplot’s headquarters in Boise, Idaho, and one of its largest potato processing facilities located in Caldwell, Idaho.
The two sides entered into their agreement on Feb. 22, 2022. It is scheduled to become final later in the spring. The agreement enables Simplot to bring its processing expertise to a well-known retail brand while furthering its offerings to regional growers and customers. It also includes a clause that enables Simplot to supply potatoes for Ore-Ida products beginning in the 2023-24 growing season.