MINNEAPOLIS — An investor group led by three former Pillsbury Co. executives has acquired the RyKrisp brand with the hope of bringing the brand back to market by this fall, according to an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Earlier this year, Omaha-based ConAgra Foods, Inc. stopped making RyKrisp, a rye cracker made exclusively at a Minneapolis plant. The company cited low demand for the product, which was acquired in 2013 as part of ConAgra’s acquisition of Ralcorp Holdings.
But an investor group led by Ted Leavitt acquired the RyKrisp trademark from ConAgra. Mr. Leavitt told the Star Tribune that the group plans to enlist a contract food manufacturer to make the crackers in suburban Chicago. Distribution of the rye cracker will shift from major national supermarket chains to more of a regional sales strategy, as well as via Amazon.com.
“Minnesota is the single most important launch point,” Mr. Leavitt told the Star Tribune. The product also will be offered in Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles, he said.
Mr. Leavitt, who has a long career in marketing and management strategy roles, said sales of RyKrisp had fallen to just “a couple of million dollars” when the plant closed earlier this year from about $12 million annually a decade ago. He said the investor group plans to reconnect with longtime fans of the brand, but also wants to broaden the product’s appeal to younger consumers.
“Generation X and Generation Y — everything about the brand is simpatico with a younger crowd,” he said.RyKrisp has set up a web site (www.rykrisp.com), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/weloverykrisp) and Twitter account (twitter.com/WeLoveRyKrisp) in hopes of generating interest through social media.