Better-for-you options account for a third of Snyder’s-Lance 2016 total sales

Snyder’s-Lance, which produces a diverse range of pretzels, kettle cooked chips, cookies, nuts and other salty snacks, will be releasing a series of NPDs in the better-for-you category this year. Pic: Snyder's-Lance

The company’s investment in brands like Emerald and Pop Secret are “beginning to bear fruit,” while core brands like Snyders of Hanover and Lance have seen a 2.1% growth, said its president and CEO Carl E. Lee.

Earlier today, the US snack company announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year ended December 31, 2016.

It reported a total net revenue of $652.6m for Q4, which is a 60.8% increase of $19.71m from the year prior. This contributed to the 40% upsurge in total net revenue for the full year to $2.34bn.

Better-for-you

Lee said Snyder’s-Lance had last year concentrated on developing better-for-you snacking options, which accounted for almost 33% of total sales.

Among the company's eight core brands, it reported gains across six of them in the quarter, with Late July Snacks being the “fastest growing chip in the natural and organic chip category.”

Late July Snacks is currently ranked third in market share, and its retail sales have posted a 49.7% growth, far surpassing the category growth of 7.3%.

The maker of Kettle Brand, Cape Cod, Snack Factory and Pretzel Crisps will be rolling out a range of new products to enter new categories in 2017.

“We are particularly excited about [new innovations like] Wholey Cheese! crackers, Cape Cod thins potato chips, and our new better snacks variety packs … these introductions will drive increased scale in our better-for-you categories, and serve as a springboard for expanded brand reach and growth,” said Lee.

Change the way the world snacks

“During 2017, we will continue to change the way the world snacks with better ingredients, quality and taste,” he continued.

Recently, Euromonitor International reported that consumers continue to choose the portability and convenience of snacking over traditional sit-down meals.

“Savory snacks posted another strong year, growing by 4% in sales in 2016. The category has been a standout performer in packaged food, with sales growing by at least 2% every year since 2003, and increasing by 23% between 2011 and 2016,” an analyst from the market research firm said.

“Products that offer high-protein content, for instance, have particularly grown in popularity as consumers look for satiety for meal replacement.

“This has helped drive growth in the nuts, seeds and trail mixes segment, as well as the meat snack category, which both grew by 3% in 2016,” said the analyst.

Snyder’s-Lance currently has a 5.25% share of the US savory snack market, according to Euromonitor data.

Zero-based budgeting

During the company’s earning call, Lee reported the company had expanded its operating margin to nearly 9% for the year, and almost 10% for the quarter.

“We will be implementing zero-based budgeting in 2017 to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness across our entire organization,” he said.

The company reported $0.35 earnings per share for the quarter, up from $0.26 earnings per share for the same period last year.

Snyder’s-Lance expects net revenue to be around $2,27m, and earnings around $1.40 per share for the current fiscal year.

The company has now fully integrated Diamond Foods, which it acquired for $1.91bn in 2015.

It also “completed the divestiture of the Diamond of California culinary nut business and continued the integration of the remaining Diamond brands” in the latter part of the year, said Lee.

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