Snyder’s-Lance to trim snacks portfolio to drive sales growth

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

While cutting back on some weaker brands, Snyder's-Lance plans to expand the distribution of many of its stronger SKUs. Pic: Snyder's-Lance
While cutting back on some weaker brands, Snyder's-Lance plans to expand the distribution of many of its stronger SKUs. Pic: Snyder's-Lance

Related tags: Popcorn

Snyder’s-Lance will discontinue some of its snack varieties that are expected to only drive a small percentage of the company’s revenues in 2018, CFO Alex Pease said. 

“If you look at the growth margin side [of the company], the manufacturing footprint is substantially more complicated than it needs to be,”​ he said at the recent DbAccess Global Consumer Conference.

“This is driven by significant SKU proliferation: 50% of our 2,000 SKUs generate around 5% of our revenue, so we have this long tail generating a substantial amount of manufacturing complexity that’s driving lower cycle time and run time of the plants.”

Snyder’s operates 14 manufacturing facilities, eight of which are operating below 80% capacity utilization.

“There’s an opportunity to rationalize that plant footprint to produce one to 1.5 points of costs of goods improvement,”​ Pease said.

On the operational side, he noted Snyder’s-Lance has not approached the indirect cost spend with a zero-based budgeting mindset, so there is also probably 10 to 15 points of improvement opportunity there.

Better-for-you

Pease said Snyder’s has focused on the non-GMO, organic and clean label trends to ride the better-for-you wave.

“If you look at brand equity, Snyder’s of Hanover, for example, we [are] number one in the market [with] roughly 50% share,”​ he said. “But it’s a highly Northeast-dominated brand, so there’s opportunity to roll out nationwide to increase distribution.”

Pease added Snyder’s-Lance plans to take its sandwich crackers to the mass US audiences beyond its Southeast home base.

On the other hand, Snyder’s-Lance's popcorn brand, Pop Secret, has been struggling with sales because it has been “baby boomer-focused”, while the company has nearly doubled the number of Kettle Chips flavors to 70 since the acquisition of Diamond Foods​ a year ago, Pease added.

“Clearly, there’s some cleanup work underway to cut the 50% of SKUs only driving 5% of the revenue,”​ he said. “We think that can be done with a fairly minimal top line impact, although in an environment where the category trends have been soft from the beginning of the year.”

Advertising expense and export increase

Pease said Snyder’s-Lance spend on marketing and advertising has been historically low: accounting for only 2% of the sales.

The company has not set a target for the marketing goal yet, but aims to increase its advertising budget to between $30m-$40m.

“We can’t invest in the brands at the expense of margins; we have to do both,”​ he said.

Going forward, Snyder’s-Lance also plans to extend the Kettle Chips footprint in the EU, and particularly focus on growing core international markets, including Australia, China, Korea and Japan.

Snyder’s-Lance's net revenue in Q1 2017​ grew 18.7% to $531.5m and is expected to reach $2.2bn for the full-year 2017. 

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