CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. this year plans to launch morning snack crackers, tortilla dipping shells, and sriracha and lime pretzel crisps – and that’s not all. Non-G.M.O. tortilla chips, kettle corn and gluten-free mini pretzels were other planned product introductions unveiled in a Feb. 12 earnings call.
Snyder’s-Lance demonstrated America’s increasing demand for snacks by presenting data from Information Resources, Inc. (I.R.I.). From 2010-2014, the percentage of Americans eating more than three snacks a day jumped to 51% from 21%, and the percentage of consumers seeking snacks that may be eaten on the go rose to 45% from 40%, according to I.R.I.
“So, I think we can really back up the statement, snacking is part of life, and then we can back it up, it's our passion to make it better,” said Carl Lee, president and chief executive officer of Snyder’s-Lance, in the earnings call to discuss fiscal-year results.
The Lance brand enters the mid-morning energy arena through the launch of Lance Quick Starts sandwich crackers, which started rolling out in January, Mr. Lee said.
“It allows us to introduce Lance brands into morning snacking and (to provide) a very early-morning energy boost for consumers who are on the go, looking for a healthy breakfast,” Mr. Lee said. “It provides 13 grams of whole grain, a good source of vitamin B, and a very good source of fiber.”
The Quick Starts crackers come in such varieties as maple French toast, blueberry muffin and cinnamon roll.
Under its Cape Cod brand, Snyder’s-Lance will launch tortilla dipping shells and kettle corn. The tortilla dipping shells will come in such flavors as blue corn multigrain (with chia seeds and brown rice) and ancient grain (with quinoa, black sesame and amaranth).
“First of all, you see dipping shells,” Mr. Lee said. “We're excited about this product because it's non-G.M.O, it's gluten-free, and it provides 19 grams of whole grain.”
The Cape Cod kettle corn has 40 calories per cup.
Under the Late July brand, Snyder’s-Lance will launch non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. tortilla chips with such flavors as yellow corn, habanero, jalapeño lime and nacho chipotle.
Under the Snyder’s of Hanover brand, the company will introduce Bowties, which are crispy baked pretzels. They have the attributes of a cracker, Mr. Lee said. Pretzel Poppers, also under the Snyder’s of Hanover brand, are airy, light pretzels, he said.
Finally, new flavors of Snack Factory pretzel crisps will be released this year.
“They're already beginning to roll out, and they're bold and spicy, making sure they apply to what consumers are looking for today with a little bit of enjoyment around their snacks,” Mr. Lee said.
Varieties include sriracha and lime, gluten-free minis and salted caramel gluten-free minis.
Mr. Lee also addressed new packaging for Lance sandwich crackers introduced last year.
“I just want to remind you, about a year ago, we were out there selling our Toasty Sandwich Crackers in a tray pack with clear cellophane wrap overtop,” he said. “While that packaging worked well for many, many years, it was not the best design for us going forward, and through a lot of heavy lifting in our plant in Charlotte, our team has worked diligently to roll out the new closed carton that provides lots of capability and lots of flexibility for us to leverage our sandwich cracker capacity and our sandwich cracker capabilities to develop a lot of other new items.
“We're busy with advertising now, with radio kicked off at the beginning of the year, with F.S.I.s (free-standing inserts) and other ways to communicate to the consumer. It's the same great product but just in a new box.”
In the fiscal year ended Jan. 3, Snyder’s-Lance had net income of $192,591,000, or $2.72 per diluted share, which was up from $78,720,000, or $1.12 per diluted share, in the previous fiscal year.
“That includes, obviously, the sale of the Private Brands and the associated gain on that sale, as well as the first six months of Private Brands’ contribution for the year,” said Rick Puckett, executive vice-president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer.
Excluding special items, earnings were $1.09 per share in the fiscal year ended Jan. 3. Net revenues were $1,620,920,000, up from $1,504,332,000.
In the fourth quarter, Snyder’s-Lance had net income of $26,332,000, or 37c per diluted share, which was up from $22,999,000, or 33c per diluted share.In its outlook for the current fiscal year, Snyder’s-Lance estimates net revenue in the range of $1.68 billion to $1.72 billion. Excluding special items, earnings per diluted share are expected to be between $1.09 and $1.19. Snyder’s-Lance projects capital expenditures for 2015 to be between $60 million and $65 million.