North Carolina Governor Cooper: International Snack Food Company to Invest $24 Million

Benestar Brands to create 129 jobs in Cleveland County

Raleigh, NC (STL.News) Benestar Brands, an international snack food manufacturer, will create 129 jobs in Cleveland County, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced today.  The company will invest $24 million to establish a new production facility in Kings Mountain.

“Even during a pandemic, companies like Benestar Brands can expand operations because of our strong workforce, quality transportation network and management of this crisis,” said Governor Cooper.

Benestar Brands, the parent company of Evans Food Group, is a rapidly growing snack food manufacturer focused on better-for-you, high-quality snacks.  The newest project in North Carolina will provide easier access to the fast-growing company’s customer base and the nation’s east coast market.  This new facility will support Benestar Brands’ expansion plans into new snack categories.

“After an extensive search throughout the southeast, we selected Kings Mountain, North Carolina for our newest production facility based on the state’s strong support of the manufacturing industry and talented workforce,” said Carl E. Lee, Jr., CEO of Benestar Brands.  “Over the past year, our company has expanded our portfolio of innovative savory snacks, entering new categories that will be produced at this Plant. We look forward to an ongoing partnership with the State of North Carolina as we expand our company.”

“Today’s decision by Benestar Brands shows that North Carolina is a prime destination for companies of all kinds striving to innovate and grow market-share,” said Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland.  “Our state has the assets and amenities to support growing companies realize their strategic objectives.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s efforts to support Benestar Brands’ decision to expand its operations to North Carolina.  The company’s 129 new jobs will include managerial, operational, maintenance, warehouse and office staff.  The average annual salary for all new positions is $43,021, creating a payroll impact of more than $5.5 million per year.  Cleveland County’s overall average annual wage is $40,019.

Benestar Brands’ North Carolina expansion will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today.  Over the course of the 12-year term of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s GDP by more than $431 million.  Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the 129 new jobs, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,212,000 over 12 years.  State payments occur only after verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met incremental job creation and investment targets.

Projects supported by JDIG must result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.  The provision ensures all North Carolina communities benefit from the JDIG program.

In addition to the N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Community College System, Cleveland Community College, Cleveland County Government, Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership, and the City of Kings Mountain.

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