CHICAGO — The Kraft Heinz Co. and Simplot Food Group, a division of the J.R. Simplot Co., have come to terms on a new agreement establishing Boise, Idaho-based Simplot as the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of the Ore-Ida brand, which is owned by Kraft Heinz.
Under terms of the agreement, Simplot is expected to grow the brand by introducing world-class innovation and technology to the business as well as creating greater efficiencies through vertical integration, including supplying potatoes for the brand starting with the 2023-24 crop season.
Kraft Heinz, meanwhile, will transfer ownership of its potato manufacturing plant in Ontario, Ore., to Simplot sometime in the second quarter of 2022. Once ownership has been transferred Simplot has committed to make capital investments as needed to meet increasing demand for the brand. The plant currently employs approximately 600.
“Consumer demand for our delicious Ore-Ida potato dishes remains high, proving there is substantial opportunity to grow the current portfolio of products while also introducing new and exciting foods from the brand,” said Renee Peets, senior vice president, North America procurement at Kraft Heinz. “Today, Ore-Ida is approximately half a billion dollars in terms of net sales, and we believe there’s still a lot of untapped growth. The expertise and innovation that the J.R. Simplot Co. will bring to the brand is unrivaled, and thanks to our exclusive strategic supply partnership, we’ll now be able to bring new and expanded offerings from Ore-Ida to market faster than we ever have before.”
Ore-Ida was founded in 1949 by brothers Francis Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg, and later acquired by the H.J. Heinz Co. in 1965. The brand’s products include french fries, tater tots, hash browns, instant mashed potatoes and a line of frozen products.