If you're familiar with the munchies named Toastchee, Nipchee, and Captain's Wafers, Snyder's-Lance (formerly Lance) has undoubtedly helped you satisfy a snack attack. The company produces single-serve, multi-pack, and family-sized packages of bakery products and sweet and savory snack foods, including cookies, crackers, nuts, potato chips, and pretzels. Its snacks are sold under the Lance, Cape Cod, Tom's, Archway, and Snyder's brands at food retailers, mass merchants, and convenience and club stores in the US. The company also makes private-label and branded snacks for food makers. In 2016 the company acquired fellow snack maker Diamond Foods.
Blending the Snyder's and Lance businesses has made Snyder's-Lance the No. 2 salty snack maker in the US. Snyder's-Lance boasts about a dozen owned brands (70% of revenue), as well as a vast collection of popular licensed names (20% of revenue), such as Bugles. Snyder's and Lance retained their corporate offices in North Carolina and Pennsylvania and knit together their executive suites to form a snack food powerhouse.
Based in North Carolina, Snyder's-Lance operates manufacturing facilities in the US in California, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin as well as in the UK.
Sales and Marketing
Snyder's-Lance logged about $32 million in advertising expenses in 2015. The snack food giant sells its products to mass merchandisers, club stores, discount stores, convenience stores, foodservice operators, and other retailers the likes of drug stores, the military, schools, and government facilities. Wal-Mart, its largest customer, represented about 13% of the company's revenues in both 2015.
The company distributes snack food products nationwide using a large direct-store-delivery (DSD) network consisting of some 3,000 distribution routes served mostly by Independent Business Owners (IBOs) and others that are company-owned.
In 2015, revenue increased 2% to $1.66 billion as consumers munched down more snacks under the Late July, Cape Cod, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, and Lance brands. A full year of revenue from Baptista's, acquired in June 2014, also pushed growth higher.
The company's net income tumbled 74% in 2015 to $50.7 million. In 2014 the company gained on the sale of discontinued operations, which it didn't have in 2015.
Cash from operations soared to $146 million in 2015 from $13 million in 2014 on changes in working capital including inventory and other accrued liabilities.
As part of the company's effort to merge the two businesses, Snyder's-Lance is paying particular attention to what it has deemed its core brands -- Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, Lance sandwich crackers, and Cape Cod potato chips. It's fueling growth among these brands by developing them and expanding their distribution.
In 2014, the company sold two of its United States subsidiaries as well as certain assets of its Canadian subsidiary, which included the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell the majority of its Private brand products and certain contract manufactured products for Shearer's Foods, LLC (Shearer's) for $430 million.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In early 2016 the company acquired Diamond Foods, makers of Diamond and Emerald nuts, for about $1.3 billion. The move added snack brands as well as UK and US distribution might to Synder's-Lance. Later in 2016, to maintain focus on its core products, the company sold its Diamond of California culinary nut business to private equity firm Blue Road Capital. Diamond of California had been one of four Diamond Foods brands at the time of Snyder's-Lance's acquisition.
Snack food is a highly competitive sector in food manufacturing; there are many players, from giants such as Frito-Lay (Lay's Potato Chips, Doritos, Cheetos, Cracker Jack) to little guys like pork rinds maker Rudolph Foods that carve out a spot in either a regional or product niche. Whether large or small, most snack food companies are bowing to customer demand to produce healthier products. The company has introduced 100-calorie snack packs and whole-grain snack crackers. (It had previously removed lard, trans-fats, and high-fructose corn syrup from its products.)