Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Harford County officials were to announce today plans by Frito-Lay, Pepsico Inc.'s snack food division, to build a major manufacturing plant in Aberdeen.
The plan, details of which were to be announced at a news conference in Baltimore, means the addition of as many as 500 jobs, said Warren T. Hartenstine, who chairs Harford County's economic development advisory board.
"This is a major victory for the state of Maryland," said Hartenstine, a Harford businessman who helped solidify the deal. "It is a significantly visible company on a national scale."
Other state and local officials declined to discuss the plan prior to the news conference. Officials with Frito-Lay could not be reached.
Hartenstine said the Frito-Lay plant, to be built on land purchased from Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., is to supply all major markets in the Northeast.
Frito-Lay, which makes Lay's potato chips, Frito corn chips, Doritos tortilla chips and other products, has nearly 50 percent of the $12 billion snack food market, according to an analysis of the industry in yesterday's New York Times. Frito-Lay had $5 billion in sales in 1990 and nearly $1 billion in profits, the Times article said.
Hartenstine said state economic development officials and Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann worked hard in securing the Frito-Lay plant. He added that it was a significant step toward revitalizing Maryland's manufacturing sector.
Harford, with its reasonable land prices and access to major transportation routes, has done well in attracting warehousing and distribution operations. But the Frito-Lay plant would be the second major manufacturing facility planned in the county during the past year.
The Clorox Co., makers of laundry bleach, broke ground in March on a $75 million, 360,000-square-foot production and distribution plant in Perryman. The plant, to be operational by 1995, is to provide 100 jobs and an annual payroll of about $4 million.