Utz ups headcount at Fitchburg potato chip plant
Utz Quality Foods Inc., a privately-owned and family-managed company, said Tuesday that it has more than doubled the headcount at the Fitchburg plant that was part of its acquisition of the Wachusett Potato Chip Co. in September 2011.
The Fitchburg plant ended 2012 with 67 employees, up from 32 at the beginning of the year, Utz said.
At the Fitchburg plant, the company makes potato chips under the Utz and Wachusett brands as well as Utz Potato Stix.
When Utz acquired the Fitchburg facility, it said it also leased a 50,000-square-foot warehouse in Sterling that serves as a storage and redistribution center for products made in Fitchburg and in Hanover, Pa., the company’s headquarters location. The Sterling warehouse has 20 employees. Utz said it operates 14 distribution facilities in New England, half of them in Massachusetts.
According to the company, Utz is now the leading regional chip brand in the Boston and Connecticut markets. In a statement, Steve Liantonio, senior vice president of sales for Utz’s Northeast region, suggested that he knew one reason why.
“Locally produced snack foods means the freshest and highest quality products are made readily available to retailers and consumers in New England,” he said.
Besides potato chips, Utz makes such products as pretzels, cheese snacks, and popcorn.