PIM produces a host of fruit-based snacks, including Welch’s, Sour Jacks and Sun-Maid Chocolate Raisins. The Allendale, New Jersey-based manufacturer also makes Suisse brand chocolate bars and Toggi European Chocolate Wafers, as well as private label goods under its affiliate, PIM Brands.
PIM’s plants in Somerset, New Jersey, will gain 250k square feet in the $30m expansion. In total, the new spaces will cover 750k square feet of ground and boost production by 50m pounds.
“We are continuously working to grow our business and to upgrade in scope and scale,” said president and CEO Michael G. Rosenberg.
“This new expansion will allow the company to continue growing our domestic and international footprints as we’ve been successfully driving double-digit growth year over year.”
According to Somerset mayor Phillip Kramer, who attended the groundbreaking on May 30, PIM employs more than 800 local residents.
As part of the expansion, Welch’s fruit snacks will gain a factory set up for public tours, expected to attract around 100 million visitors annually.
Betting on fruit snacks
Welch’s says its fruit snacks are naturally fat-free and gluten-free, while offering 100% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and 25% of vitamins D and A.
Following a 2015 lawsuit alleging the brand misrepresented the nutritional benefits, Welch's boosted the snack’s health halo by swapping ‘fruit juices from concentrate’ to ‘fruit purees,’ which current products list first on the ingredient deck.
A single-serving 22.7g pouch of Welch’s Superfruit Mix – one of its newest products – carries 70 calories, 17g of carbohydrates and 9g of sugar. A reduced sugar version contains 6g of sugar per serving.
Welch’s remains one of the most popular fruit snack brands in America. Competitor brands, such as Mott’s or Annie’s Organic, carry about 10g of sugar per serving.