22 flavors, 8 styles, all pretzel.
Our tradition of good taste dates back to 1909 when Harry V. Warehime, founder of Hanover Canning Company, our parent company until 1980, began producing Olde Tyme Pretzels for the Hanover Pretzel Company.
In the 1920′s, Grandma Eda and Edward Snyder II began frying potato chips in a kettle at their home during the summer months and peddling the home cooked snack door-to-door and to fairs and farmers’ markets. Their son, William V., and his wife Helen made angel food cakes in their basement for local stores. In 1924, the families combined their home businesses and Snyder’s Bakery began. In a unique product combination, the bakery produced noodles to use the egg yolks left over from the angel food cakes. This efficient process continued into the 1960s, when the automated process for snack production took over.
William V. Snyder started modernizing the company in 1940 with the construction of a new plant on Lafayette and Granger Streets. To improve the efficiency of the production line, he installed automated direct fire ferry fryers. Along with E. Wise and H. Ness, he created the Potato Chip Institute to improve communication among competing “chippers.” Meanwhile, Snyder’s continued to grow. Its distribution market stretched south to Norfolk, Virginia, west to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and north to New York. To extend the shelf life of his product for these distant markets, William began to use aluminum foil bags, becoming the first chipper to implement this creative yet practical innovation. The company further expanded with the addition of a Berlin, Pennsylvania plant, built to access a good potato supply and meet demand in growing markets. Sadly, William V. Snyder suffered a fatal heart attack at the young age of 45. In 1950, the Berlin plant was sold to William’s sister and her husband, Edith and Clair “Barb” Sterner. Eleven years later, William’s son, William “Billy” L. Snyder, sold the Hanover plant to Hanover Canning, headed by Alan R. Warehime. Sales in 1961 were about $400,000.
In 1963, the Bechtel Pretzel Company, founded by Bill and Helen Bechtel in 1947, was purchased and incorporated into Snyder’s Bakery. Bill developed the original recipe for the Sourdough Hard Pretzel that is still enjoyed by consumers today.
Michael Warehime, Alan’s youngest son, joined the company in 1966. He was named President and Chief Executive Officer in 1972 and Chairman of the Board in 1990. Our growth, new product development, and strong emphasis on quality in all that we do are attributed to Mike and his vision and leadership.
In 1980, nineteen years after Snyder’s was purchased, the Warehime family decided to “spin off” Snyder’s of Hanover Snack Operation from Hanover Brands, enabling the companies to focus on their respective industries of snacks and vegetables. Snyder’s sales in 1980 were $15.8 million. After the split, both companies exploded, growing faster than industry averages.
In 1984, California-style corn tortilla chips were added to Snyder’s snack line. Flavored pretzel pieces burst onto the market in 1992 with Honey Mustard & Onion flavor, with Buttermilk Ranch and Cheddar Cheese following the year after. Our Olde Tyme Pretzels, first made in 1909 by H.V. Warehime, took the Automatic Merchandiser’s Product of the Year award in 1995. In 1998, Snyder’s revealed a sweet side, introducing milk chocolate and white chocolate pretzel Dips.
Today, Snyder’s still continues to expand rapidly. Our newest plant, located in Goodyear, Arizona, was built in 1998 and was expanded in 2006 to nearly double its original size. Snyder’s headquarters building, also opened in 1998, was doubled in size in 2007.
Our flagship Hanover pretzel bakery was built originally as a distribution center in the 1980’s with tortilla and potato chip production added later. It burned to the ground on Saturday, December 2, 1989 when an overhead heater malfunctioned and fire started in the warehouse area. Fire departments from many surrounding communities fought the dramatic and overwhelming blaze. The “glow” could be seen in the night sky for miles around. It smoldered for several days. Fortunately, no one was injured. Pretzel production continued at the Granger Street facility. Our employees pulled together and completed a massive cleanup and the building was rebuilt and expanded regularly. Today, it is over 400,000 ft2 and includes product processing, packaging, and warehousing as well as a large research and development laboratory.
Our products continue to make waves for their quality, value, and unique taste. In 2004, Pumpernickel & Onion Pretzel Sticks were introduced. Only a year later, Health magazine included the sophisticated snack in its “Best of Food” awards.
We added Krunchers! Kettle Chips, O-KE-DOKE popcorn, and Jays Potato Chips to our portfolio in late 2007 upon the acquisition of Chicago based Jays Foods and the former Wyandot, Select Snacks production plant in Jeffersonville, IN that was renamed Krunchers!TM, Inc.
We attribute our growth to providing quality snack products at fair prices to our consumers. Our products are distributed nationwide using a combination of our store door distribution system with direct delivery to grocery stores, a distributor network, and a vending and foodservice sales division. We also have a strong international business with sales on every continent except Africa and Antarctica.
From our humble beginnings to our position today as the leader of the pretzel industry and a major player in the snack food industry, we celebrate the efforts and innovations of our predecessors and their families and eagerly anticipate many more years of pretzel pride as we continue to be America’s favorite pretzel.