H-E-B snack plant to rise in northwest Houston
H-E-B is building a snack manufacturing plant in northwest Houston to keep pace with the region’s growing appetite for tortilla chips.
The 46,000-square-foot plant will be located at 10000 ½ Genard Road in the same complex as H-E-B’s milk plant, bread plant and distribution center, southeast of U.S. Highway 290 and Beltway 8. The new plant, which will produce H-E-B-branded plain and flavored tortilla chips, began construction in December and is expected to open in mid-2019.
The San Antonio grocery retailer decided to build a snack plant in Houston because the region is the company’s fastest-growing market, H-E-B spokeswoman Kim Stinebaker said.
“Due to the growth in the Greater Houston area and surrounding counties, the construction of a snack plant will provide us with the ability to provide our growing customer base with the products they request as well as new products,” Stinebaker said.
H-E-B’s Houston stores are served by the company’s snack plant in San Antonio. The 40,000-square-foot San Antonio plant operates 24 hours a day to produce, pack and ship potato, corn and tortilla chips to more than 300 H-E-B stores across Texas and Mexico. Each year, 35 million pounds of potatoes and 10 million pounds of corn — all produced in Texas — are processed at the San Antonio plant.
H-E-B did not have projections for production at the Houston plant, but said it will produce tortilla chips for all of its 300 stores. The new plant is expected to initially employ about a dozen workers, and will add additional shifts as needed, Stinebaker said. H-E-B employs 106,000 workers across the chain, and has annual revenues of $25 billion.
Joeris, a San Antonio construction company, is the general contractor for H-E-B’s Houston snack plant. RVK, also based in San Antonio, is the architect.
Despite the rising popularity of healthy snacks such as beet chips, Americans are eating more potato chips, popcorn and other snacks throughout the day as society has shifted toward an increasingly on-the-go lifestyle.
Salty snack sales in the U.S. reached $22 billion in 2015, posting an annual growth rate of 3.7 percent. The market is expected to grow 4 percent each year until 2020, according to Packaged Facts, an industry research firm.
Potato chips was the top seller with $7.5 billion in sales. Tortilla and tostada chips was the second most popular salty snack with $5.2 billion in sales.