Bob Evans Farms, Inc., Columbus, Ohio, and its subsidiary, BEF Foods, Inc., acquired Kettle Creations, LLC, the Kettle Creations brand and a 100,000-square-foot, Bob Evans mashed potatoesstate-of-the-art food manufacturing plant located in Lima, Ohio, that produces mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and other side dishes.

Kettle Creations has been a co-packer for BEF Foods' side dish business since 2009. BEF Foods comprised a significant portion of Kettle Creations' sales volume since that time, with the remainder of sales generated by foodservice and other retail accounts. Kettle Creations employs 100 people, who employees of BEF Foods and are expected to stay with the company.

"This transaction is an important step in expanding the manufacturing capabilities and market presence of BEF Foods," says Steve Davis, chairman and CEO of Bob Evans. "Judicious acquisitions complement our product offerings and align well with our production expertise. This move is a key step in our long-term growth strategy. As we have said before, we believe BEF Foods has strong growth potential that will be realized by developing our existing businesses, and through disciplined acquisitions."

"I'm also pleased that the acquisition demonstrates our commitment to growth in our home state of Ohio," adds Davis. "This brings our total investment in the state of Ohio to $165 million through our ‘BEST to Invest’ initiative."

"The purchase of the Kettle Creations brand and the Lima, Ohio, production facility will allow us to vertically integrate a portion of our growing side dish and prepared foods businesses," says Mike Townsley, president of BEF Foods. "Kettle Creations also offers future growth potential to the BEF Foods business, including possible new product lines and expanded reach into the foodservice market."

BEF Foods is a leading producer and distributor of retail pork sausage, refrigerated side dishes and frozen convenience and foodservice items. The company currently operates seven food production facilities. At the end of the last fiscal year in April 2012, BEF Foods represented 19% of the total revenue of Bob Evans Farms, Inc.