Allens acquires ConAgra facility

by Keith Nunes
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SILOAM SPRINGS, ARK. — Allens, Inc., a privately held vegetable processor, has acquired a facility in Fort Worth, Texas, from ConAgra Foods, Inc. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under ConAgra’s ownership the facility was used to pack ranch-style beans, but Allens said it will use the plant as a distribution point to better serve customers in the region.

“This acquisition is exciting for us as it will further solidify our already strong presence in Texas, a part of the country with even stronger economic and additional growth potential for our company,” said Rick Allen, chairman and chief executive officer.

The company also announced the expansion of two facilities, one in Van Buren, Ark., and the other in Oakfield, N.Y. The Oakfield expansion will include a $2.2 million canned vegetable operation that will begin processing sweet peas in June 2010 and will be followed by green beans, corn and beets as well as other dry pack bean products.

The Van Buren investment will expand the company’s ability to process sweet potato products for the company’s Princella, Sugary Sam and Trappey’s sweet potato brands.

“Last year marked a record-breaking year of sweet potato sales for Allens,” said Bobby D. Ray, senior vice-president of retail sales and marketing. “Now with the $13.5 million dollar expansion of the company’s plant in Van Buren, Ark., it is expected that we will grow our total sweet potato capacity even more than ever.”

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