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Reorganised US Snack Food Firm Lance Now Ready for Growth.

4 December 2009 - Lance Inc., the Charlotte, North Carolina-based producer of snack foods, is now in a position to benefit from a series of strategic business changes it previously carried out. The company, which recently the Stella D'oro brand, believes it can now pursue expansion plans beyond core growth as it embarks on a new era of innovation and is open to possible new acquisitions.

Speaking at an investor meeting in New York yesterday, Lance's CEO David V. Singer, said that his company is on the right track.

"Now that we have got the core parts of our business fixed, we are now ready to grow. We have the right people and the right processes. I am confident in our ability to do that. We are prepared to carry out acquisitions and we have a balance sheet that supports that".

Innovation is labelled by Singer a new component of the company's growth. For instance, Lance has in recent months launched new packaging for its crackers and potato chips. The snack firm has also come up with new forms and flavours for some of its products.

Lance, which sells 60% of its products under its own brand, also caters for private brands (e.g. "great value" Oreo type biscuits) and contract manufacturing. The company also distributes its products through its direct-store-delivery system, a network of independent distributors and direct shipments to customer locations. Singer added that Lance has about 1,100 routes in 23 states, mainly in the Southeast US.

Thanks to its multiple sales channel presence, Lance has been able to shift focus along with market trends. The company has clearly benefited from being in the private label category, which has enjoyed significant growth, especially during recession.


Lance is also, for the first time in company history, Lance invested in advertising. From virtually 0 dollars in 2008, Singer said that his company spent about USD 8 million in 2009 to reach audiences via television and cable advertising.

"To build our brands we need to focus at the present time mostly on household penetration. We can increase that thanks to advertising", commented Singer.

"Although the recession has affected many sectors, it has not affected milk and liquid dairy consumption in the same way" commented Jonsson.

To confirm the solid basis of Lance's shift of strategy, one need not look further than the company's stockholder performance. Compared to other companies in the snack category, Lance has performed quite well.

The company's refreshed focus gives reasons for Singer to believe that improvement will continue in the few years to come.

"We do know how to make cookies and crackers", hinted Lance's CEO.

Lance, with a workforce of approximately 4,800, has 9 manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada. Its own products are sold under the Lance, Cape Cod, Tom's, Archway and Stella D'oro brand names.
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Date:Dec 4, 2009
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