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Diamond Foods could add 100 jobs at Beloit food plant

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JAMES P. LEUTE
November 2, 2010
— Diamond Foods has selected its Beloit facility for an expansion that will create up to 100 new jobs.

Diamond owns Kettle Brand chips, which was established in 1978 in Oregon as a producer and distributor of all-natural foods and snacks, including potato chips.


Increased demand for its products led Kettle to expand to Wisconsin with a 73,000-square-foot plant in Beloit in 2007.


The company recently considered three sites for expansion: the Beloit facility; its headquarters in Salem, Ore.; and an unidentified, undeveloped site in the Southeast. The new production will serve growing consumer demand in Midwest, East and Southern markets for Kettle chips.


The expansion will expand the Beloit facility by 50,000 square feet and double its production capacity.


"Diamond Foods is proud to be able to expand Beloit operations by investing to create new jobs, continue to source Wisconsin potatoes and better serve our customers and partners," Michael J. Mendes, the company's chairman, said in a news release. "Diamond Foods has a deep history of investing in our brands, plants and supply chain to meet growing demand for our products, which has been the foundation of our success."


For weeks, the company has been in discussions with Wisconsin officials about incentives for the expansion.


Gov. Jim Doyle said Monday that Diamond will receive $1.25 million in tax credits for the new expansion.


"I commend Diamond Foods on its hard work and strong performance, which has allowed it to expand production capabilities and bring jobs to Wisconsin," Doyle said in the news release.


The funds will come from the development opportunity zone that offers tax credits to businesses that create jobs in economically distressed areas. The geographic areas are designated by the Wisconsin Legislature and overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.


Diamond Foods is a packaged food company that, in addition to Kettle, owns Emerald snack nuts, Pop Secret popcorn and Diamond of California culinary and snack nuts.



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