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The Hershey Company is buying Dot's Pretzels, the popular family-owned pretzel company in North Dakota.

The chocolate maker is buying Dot's and the company that co-manufactures the pretzels for Dot's for a whopping $1.2 billion.

Hershey's President and CEO Michele Buck said in a news release Dot's is the fastest-growing U.S. pretzel brand and it perfectly complements the company's growing salty snacks portfolio, which includes SkinnyPop and Pirate's Booty.

"With a unique range of bold, distinctive seasonings and a flavorful crunch that creates a premium pretzel experience for consumers, Dot's Pretzels stand apart from all other products in the pretzel category and represents 55% of the pretzel category's growth during the past year," Buck said. 

Dot Henke created the original umami-flavored Dot's Pretzels in her North Dakota kitchen more than a decade ago. It started as a snack she shared with family, friends, and neighbors, and it quickly grew from there. 

Dot Henke.

Dot Henke.

"I created my pretzels to share with those people closest to me and have built the business with the idea of sharing them with everyone," Henke said in a statement. "With Hershey behind this amazing brand, I am confident that anyone who would like to enjoy these deliciously bold pretzels will have the opportunity."

Hershey has also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pretzels Inc., which is a co-manufacturer of pretzels for Dot's Pretzels. Pretzels Inc. operates three manufacturing locations in Indiana and Kansas. 

The company says acquiring these facilities will support Dot's growth and "future pretzel innovation as well as continued growth in the entire pretzel category."

The Pretzel Inc. facilities will be in addition to the four pretzel-seasoning facilities Hershey is acquiring in the Dot's deal.

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