CINCINNATI – AdvancePierre Foods announced the company will acquire the manufacturing assets of Valencia, Calif.-based Better Bakery LLC, a manufacturer of premium stuffed sandwiches.

Better Bakery produces high-quality, stuffed sandwiches and other licensed products including Pretzel Melts, Skinny Melts and Breakfast Melts. AdvancePierre said the acquisition will expand its presence in on-trend, clean-label products, and enable new distribution and market penetration with premium and natural food customers across AdvancePierre's foodservice, retail and convenience channels.

“We are eager to incorporate another high-growth, strategic acquisition into the AdvancePierre portfolio,” said John Simons, president and CEO of AdvancePierre. “Stuffed-handheld sandwiches are the largest category in the frozen-sandwich market, and Better Bakery is driving the lion’s share of the growth in this category. Its choice-ingredient, premium-price product portfolio is comprised of sandwiches for all eating occasions, which is pivotal for us as we aggressively grow our leadership position as the nation’s No. 1 provider of sandwiches for lunch, dinner and snacking and look to close the gap between AdvancePierre and the leading breakfast sandwich brand.”

Better Bakery's production will be relocated to AdvancePierre's facility in Caseyville, Ill. AdvancePierre acquired the Caseyville manufacturing operation from Landshire Inc. Bryan Freeman, CEO and co-founder of Better Bakery, will continue in his new role as vice president, Premium and Natural Handhelds.

“Bryan will be a great asset to our team, and together we’re excited for the growth that lies ahead as we integrate Better Bakery into the AdvancePierre platform,” Simons added. “The Caseyville manufacturing footprint that we acquired from Landshire last month provides a highly synergistic solution for Better Bakery’s products and provides significant capacity to support future growth. This combination takes advantage of our leveraged buy-in meat and cheese proteins, internal slicing capability, central distribution footprint and expansive logistics infrastructure to existing AdvancePierre customers.”

AdvancePierre expects the acquisition to close in the second quarter of 2015. The company's acquisition of Landshire closed on Jan. 30.