Five strategies driving growth at Snyder's-Lance

by Monica Watrous
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Snyder's-Lance Diamond Foods brands - Kettle Brand, Pop Secret, Diamond of California, Emerald
Snyder’s-Lance has repositioned its portfolio in recent years through divestitures and acquisitions, including its acquisition of Diamond Foods.

NANTUCKET, MASS. — Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. has zeroed in on five strategic initiatives to drive sustainable growth and deliver shareholder value. With $2.5 billion in annual revenues, the Charlotte, N.C.-based snack maker has leading market share positions in the pretzels, sandwich crackers and kettle chips categories. The company has repositioned its portfolio in recent years through divestitures and acquisitions, including its $1.91 billion acquisition of Diamond Foods, Inc. earlier this year, but its core business strategies remain unchanged, said Carl Lee, president and chief executive officer.

Carl Lee Jr., Snyder's-Lance
Carl Lee, president and c.e.o. of Snyder's-Lance

“Over the last 10 years, and particularly the last 5 years as we have become a public company, we really have focused on five key strategies, strategies that have proven themselves time and time again,” Mr. Lee said during a June 21 presentation at the Jefferies Consumer Conference in Nantucket. “Even though we fine-tune and update our strategic plan every year, we really have five core basics that we come back to once and again that really prove out our business model and continue to expand it.”

The first strategy driving growth at Snyder’s-Lance is a focus on building brands through product innovation and renovation supported by integrated marketing campaigns.

“We want to focus on premium and differentiated positioning for our brands and make sure that the consumers understand what we represent and what we don’t represent,” Mr. Lee said. “And we want to make sure we provide value and we stand out as offering something unique with each of our brands. We do that continuously throughout product innovation. We also renovate our brands, and then we work diligently to communicate those features and benefits to our consumers.”

Snyder's-Lance brands - Late July, Snyder's of Hanover, Lance, Pretzel Crisps
Snyder's-Lance plans to focus on premium and differentiated positioning for its brands.

The company’s second strategic initiative is continuously expanding retail distribution.

“While we have a couple of brands that are over 100 years old, our company really has been focused on a national platform only for the last 10 years,” Mr. Lee said. “And the good news is we still have outlets to get into. So, continuing to expand distribution via D.S.D. (direct-store delivery) and also expanding it via direct gives us an opportunity to just expand our consumer reach day in, day out.”

Third, Snyder’s-Lance aims to deliver superior product quality with a focus on continuous improvement.

“We feel quality really can be a competitive advantage, and we continuously reinvest and invest again on enhancing our quality if we find an opportunity to do so. And we just see that as a very important part of really building our franchise with our consumers long term.”

Snyder's-Lance worker
The fifth and final driver of Snyder’s-Lance’s business is an investment in its people.

The fourth strategic initiative is funding the future by driving productivity, reducing costs and expanding margins to increase returns on invested capital, Mr. Lee said.

The fifth and final driver of Snyder’s-Lance’s business is an investment in people.

“Our business operates through the quality of our people, and we continue to make sure we are attracting, integrating and really providing our people with the right tools in the right toolbox to continue to grow our company.” 
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