Report: Home grown Ore-Ida brand could return to Idaho roots

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Twenty years ago this summer, Ore-Ida foods pulled up stakes from its Boise headquarters. It relocated to a new frozen foods division of its parent company HJ Heinz in Pittsburgh.

But a new report from CNBC says the brand could be sold off – and one of the suitors is based in the Treasure Valley.

Ore-Ida claims it invented its signature tater tot by mashing up left over potato slivers from French fry production. The company started in Ontario in 1949, with a later HQ in Boise. Heinz bought Ore-Ida in 1965, but kept business operations in the Treasure Valley before it pulled out in 1999.

CNBC notes Ore-Ida is up for sale, and could fetch $1.5-billion to $2-billion, which Heinz would use to pay down debt.

One of the potential buyers, according to the CNBC report, is Lamb Weston. That potato processing company calls Eagle its home base, after ConAgra spun it out in 2016. A sale agreement could bring decision-making and other functions for the Ore-Ida brand back to the region that gives it its name.

Thanks, Seth, for the tip!

Header photo via Gibchan/Wikimedia Commons.

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