SnackWell’s seeks a turnaround

by Dan Malovany
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Snackwell's is reformulating its products to appeal to consumers seeking cleaner labels.

SnackWell’s recently hopped on the bandwagon with a growing number of brands (including Flowers Foods’ Nature’s Own) and food service chains (such as Panera Bread) by reformulating products to appeal to consumers seeking cleaner and leaner labels as well as products perceived as more healthful. Recently acquired by Back to Nature Foods Co., L.L.C., a portfolio company of Brynwood Partners VI L.P.

SnackWell’s in June will launch Chocolate Mint-flavored Devil's Food Cookie Cakes and 100% Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites. Both are school-compliant and produced in a peanut-free facility. Moreover, the products will now be made without high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors or colors.

This isn’t the first time the brand has tried to reinvent itself. In 2011, under the direction of former owner Kraft Foods, SnackWell’s came out with new items, refreshed packaging and an advertising campaign that targeted weight-conscious women. Turning around SnackWell’s will be no easy task.

According to a report on, the brand was first launched in 1992. SnackWell’s sales then peaked at about $490 million in 1995. It’s been relatively downhill ever since. In fact, SnackWell’s now total a little less than $22 million in sales annually, according to I.R.I., a Chicago-based market research firm. The new owners are hoping that “the second time is the charm” and “less is more” — in terms of ingredients — work a bit of magic.
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