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Alpha Baking moves into sweet goods with ConAgra bakeries acquisition

Vince Bamford

By Vince Bamford+

27-Apr-2016
Last updated on 27-Apr-2016 at 13:15 GMT2016-04-27T13:15:05Z

Alpha produces brands including S Rosens and Natural Ovens. Picture: srosens.com
Alpha produces brands including S Rosens and Natural Ovens. Picture: srosens.com

S Rosen’s brand owner Alpha Baking Co is extending into sweet goods with the acquisition of two US bakeries from ConAgra Foods.

The deal – for facilities in northwest Chicago, Illinois, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan – takes the company’s number of manufacturing sites to six across four states.

It will also give the business the opportunity to extend beyond bread and buns into categories including muffins, petit fours, cupcakes and pound cake.

Alpha currently offers direct store delivery of fresh bread to retail and foodservice outlets in central and southern Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and northwestern Indiana. It distributes frozen and par-baked products beyond this area.

'It's an exciting time'

"Alpha Baking has been producing high-quality bread, buns and rolls since 1979, and we will now utilize our experience and attention to customer service to operate in the sweet goods category. It is an exciting time for us," said Alpha Baking president and CEO Lawrence Marcucci.

Acquisitions have helped to drive the growth in the business. It was established in 1979 with the acquisition of the Mary Ann Baking Company in Chicago, and in 1981 purchased S Rosen’s Baking Company, another Chicago business. It also acquired Kreamo Bakers in La Porte, Indiana, in 1979; National Baking Company in Chicago in 1997; and Natural Ovens Bakery in Wisconsin in 2007.

Alpha’s existing production operations comprise two in Chicago, one in La Porte, Indiana, and one in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Lawsuit settlement

Alpha Baking Company is currently rolling out new-look blue packaging for its S Rosen’s Sweet Hawaiian Rolls after last month agreeing a lawsuit settlement with King’s Hawaiian, which alleged Alpha had infringed the trade dress of its Hawaiian sweet rolls. Alpha said it had contested the assertions made by the King’s Hawaiian but had entered into the settlement to avoid a lengthy lawsuit.

We are bakers, and we prefer to spend our time in the mixing room over the courtroom,” said Marcucci at the time.

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