Diamond Foods Expanding Kettle Chip Plant

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The California owners of the Kettle Foods potato chip plant in Salem say they plan an $8.4 million expansion project that will boost production capacity 25 percent.

Diamond Foods of San Francisco purchased Kettle Foods earlier this year from a British investment firm for $615 million in cash.

The Capital Press newspaper in Salem reported that Diamond hopes to complete the expansion by the second quarter of 2011.

The Salem facility, which opened in 1999, produces about half of the nation's supply of the Kettle Brand product line, which includes potato chips, tortilla chips, nuts and nut butters.

Kettle Foods processes about 2 million pounds of raw potatoes a week at its Salem plant. Potato growers in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California supply the plant.

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