HP Hood sells brand assets to Modesto dairy and poultry producer
The East Coast dairy firm that bought the 106-year-old Sacramento-based Crystal Cream & Butter Co. five months ago, confirmed Monday that it has sold the Crystal label to Modesto-based Foster Farms Dairy.
While financial details of the deal were not released, Massachusetts-based HP Hood LLC, the nation's seventh-largest dairy processor, said Foster had also purchased the Crystal trucking operations.
Foster Farms will continue to produce Crystal-branded products at its own facilities in Modesto, and distribute them in the Sacramento-area from Foster's West Sacramento distribution center.
Hood plans to refit Crystal's Sacramento production facility to make 'extended shelf-life' dairy products for such Hood product lines as Lactaid and Stonyfield Farms. The several-month-long switchover will reduce the Crystal Sacramento plant's workforce from over 160 workers to about 50 workers. Hood also plans to make major cuts at Crystal's administrative headquarters where from 50 to 100 workers are now employed.
Foster and Hood told the Sacramento Bee that they will meet with union officials this week to negotiate severance packages and other details for affected employees.
The family-owned Foster Farms employs about 800 workers. In addition to dairy production, the firm runs a Livingston-based egg and poultry business and a 6,500-cow dairy operation.
The firm, which purchases milk from 40 farms in the San Joaquin Valley, said it would maintain Crystal's contractual relationships with local dairy producers he company said it would maintain Crystal’s relationships with Sacramento-region dairy farmers. Foster now purchases milk from 40 farms in the San Joaquin Valley and also runs a 6,500-cow dairy operation.
Founded in 1901, Crystal was purchased by the Hansen family in 1921 and remained family run until the sale to Hood five months ago.