NEW YORK — Mark T. Smucker, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the J.M. Smucker Co., said in addition to having a first-mover’s opportunity in the market for frozen hand-held sandwiches with Uncrustables, the company has another advantage — the sandwich’s bread.
Speaking at the Bank of America Consumer & Retail Conference on March 14, Mr. Smucker said it took the company approximately a decade to figure out how to mass produce Uncrustables and prevent “leaky sandwiches.”
“It’s around the technology to bake the bread in such a way that (it) doesn’t create air pockets,” he said. “We have very consistent bread — the loaves are actually round. I don't think they really talk about that … it's how you handle the bread.”
Throughout the development of Uncrustables, Mr. Smucker said the company has developed “a lot of proprietary equipment and bread baking knowledge over the years” to be able to mass produce “a lot of sandwiches at once.”
He estimated that today the J.M. Smucker Co. is producing 4.5 million Uncrustables per day. Production is scheduled to rise significantly as the company’s new facility in Longmont, Colo., continues to scale capacity and as construction is completed on a manufacturing facility in McCalla, Ala. That plant is scheduled to come online in fiscal 2025, he said.
To better serve retail demand, Smucker has pulled back from selling Uncrustables in too many away-from-home categories.
“They still are in schools, but there is definitely more opportunity in the away-from-home space,” Mr. Smucker said. “And that is not only schools and universities, but if you think about athletic facilities and places like that — a lot of golf courses are serving Uncrustables these days.
“And then Canada. The Canadians have been asking us to launch in Canada for about 15 years, and we're finally at a position where we think we have the capacity to support the Canadian market. So, there's definitely opportunity.”