Snyders-Lance, a company that started with a man selling peanut butter and crackers on the streets of Charlotte, turns 100 this year an occasion the company said Monday it will mark with new products and charitable donations.
Philip L. Lance, who worked as a food distributor, founded the company in 1913 after finding himself with a quarter-ton of peanuts a customer decided it didnt want. He decided to sell them around Charlotte for a nickel per bag.
His wife, daughter and son-in-law joined in to pioneer the peanut butter sandwich cracker the product the company is arguably best known for today.
Lance Inc. was incorporated in 1926 and went public in 1961. It began a three-decade string of acquisitions in 1979 that broadened its snack-food market share in chips, cookies and sugar wafers. The latest merger, with Snyders of Hanover, created the countrys second-largest snack food maker.
The combined company, which employs about 1,500 people in Charlotte, has a corporate office in Ballantyne and a manufacturing facility on South Boulevard near Interstate 485.
Snyders-Lance earned $59.1 million in 2012, up 54 percent from the year before.
To celebrate its centennial, Snyders-Lance will give about $1.5 million to 13 Charlotte-area nonprofits, the company announced. Its foundation aims to support education, healthy living, the military and eliminating hunger.
The company will also introduce a new product it calls Xtra Fulls, sandwich crackers with extra peanut butter. It also plans a creamier peanut butter and to come out with new cookies, cream-cheese cracker sandwiches and cheese wafer sandwich crackers.
Dunn: 704-358-5235 Twitter: @andrew_dunn
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