CHARLOTTE, NC -- Snyder's-Lance Inc. said it will convert its company-owned, direct-store delivery routes to an independent-operator structure over the next 12 to 18 months.
The maker of Snyder's of Hanover pretzels, Lance sandwich crackers and Cape Cod potato chips currently owns 45% of its routes. Independent operators serve the remaining majority of routes.
Officials said the transition to the new delivery model is expected to create an integrated coast-to-coast distribution network better positioned to serve customers. It will also afford independent route operators larger drop sizes given the combined volume resulting from the merger of the two snack companies.
Lance Inc. and Snyder's of Hanover Inc. completed their merger in December, establishing the combined company with a national distribution footprint, including one of the largest direct store delivery networks in the U.S. The move positioned Snyder's-Lance to compete against PepsiCo Inc.'s Frito-Lay in the salty snacks business. | SEE STORY
Snyder's-Lance has manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Ontario.
Separately, the combined company posted a fourth-quarter loss as a result of charges related to its landmark merger.
In the quarter ended Jan. 1, Snyder's-Lance lost $19.4 million, compared with a $10.1 million profit a year earlier. Net revenues were $285.1 million, an increase of 23%. Excluding special charges, the company posted a $9.4 million profit in the fourth quarter, down from $10.7 million a year earlier.
For the full year, Snyder's-Lance earned $2.5 million, compared with $35 million in 2009. Special charges in 2010 included $2 million related to second-quarter layoffs and $28.2million tied to the merger.