Wyandot Snacks

Wyandot Snacks is a privately held and family owned American contract manufacturer of snacks and other packaged foods, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, a part of the Columbus, Ohio Combined statistical area.[2] primarily as a contract manufacturer for domestic and international branded snack businesses, but also for foodservice customers. The company's main product lines are extruded snacks, corn & tortilla chips, and ready to eat (RTE) popcorn. Wyandot's focuses on the creation of plant-based snack products made from ancient grains such as sorghum and quinoa, pulses such as chickpeas, and flaxseed, among others.

Wyandot Inc.
TypePrivate
IndustryFood processing
FoundedMarion, Ohio, United States (1936)
FoundersW. Hoover Brown and Ava King Brown[1]
HeadquartersMarion, Ohio, United States
Key people
Dewey Armstrong
(President and Chief Executive Officer)
ProductsSee Products section
Number of employees
333
Website[6]

HistoryEdit

Wyandot Popcorn Company was founded in Wyandot County, Ohio during the Great Depression by Hoover and Ava (King) Brown. Mrs. Brown was the daughter of George W. King, one of the founders of the Marion Power Shovel Company. In 1936, as a way to diversify their family's farming income from grains and livestock, the Browns planted their first 100 acres of popcorn and entered the business of growing and selling raw popcorn. Popcorn became a popular treat in America at the time given its affordability.

In 1948 a subsidiary, Popped-Right Corn Company, was established initially to sell ready-to-eat (RTE) popcorn to movie theatres. Popped-Right, in conjunction with local Marion candy company Shirk's, created one of the first formulas of caramel popcorn for broad commercialization.

In 1964 both Wyandot Popcorn and Popped-Right consolidated their office operations into a new facility in Marion, Ohio while maintaining the raw popcorn processing on the farm in Wyandot County. Also in the 1960s Popped-Right, under the direction of son Warren Brown, diversified into corn-based snacks to supply regional potato chip marketers who were seeking to compete against a growing Frito Lay. The raw popcorn business, led by son George Brown, continued to grow as well, to the point where Wyandot was selling 50 million pounds of popcorn and selling it to over 75 countries, representing nearly a quarter of the global trade in raw popcorn.[3] By the 1980s Wyandot was the second largest processor of popcorn in the United States.[4] Both businesses were consolidated in 1981 under Wyandot, Inc.

In 1981 Wyandot purchased a second snack manufacturing location in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In 1989 Wyandot sold its raw popcorn operation to Vogel Popcorn, who subsequently sold the business to ConAgra Foods.[5]

With an increased focus on contract manufacturing versus private label business and business with regional potato chip companies, Wyandot sold the Jeffersonville plant in 2004.[6]

In the first decade of the 2000s Wyandot manufactured Cracker Jack for Frito Lay,[7] as well as Pringles Select chips for Pringles when that brand was owned by P&G.

In March 2018 Wyandot elected three snack industry veterans to its Board of Directors: James Kairos, formerly of Bare Snacks, Sundia and Odwalla; Blake Thompson, former SVP and operations/logistic leader for Snyder's-Lance and Frito Lay, and Steve Van Tassel, former CEO of Weetabix, North America and former President of Post Cereals.[8] In 2021 Jolie Weber, CEO of Lenny & Larry's and former CEO of Wise Foods, joined the company's Board.[9]

Wyandot's plant is certified SQF Level 3.[10]

Wyandot was certified as a B Corporation in January 2020.[11] Wyandot is one of the largest food & beverage contract manufacturers in the world to achieve this certification.

Products and manufacturing capabilitiesEdit

Products made from single and twin screw extrusion capabilities include curls and puffs made singly or in combinations of corn, rice, pulses (like chickpeas, beans, peas), made from fruits and other vegetables, fortified with vitamins and minerals, and made with ancient grains.

RTE popcorn is made both air and kettle popped.

Corn based snacks include corn chips, tortilla chips, and tortilla strips.

Wyandot once utilized a former P&G craft chip line to manufacture award-winning specialty chips made from chickpeas and combinations of various vegetable components.

CommunityEdit

Wyandot Snacks and the Brown family have provided substantial community support to Marion. Wyandot's shareholders, officers and directors serve in leadership roles and provide support for a number of local organizations including the Marion Chamber of Commerce,[12] Marion CanDo (Marion's economic development office), the Marion Community Foundation and the Palace Theatre, the Marion Rotary, Marion Technical College, and OSU Marion, among others. Wyandot also participated in the Harding 2020 project to build a Presidential Center for Warren Harding, the last President from Ohio.[13]

In response to the coronavirus crisis in the Spring of 2020, Wyandot has donated free snacks to Marion County schools and law enforcement ('First Responders"), enhanced free products for its workers, and purchased gift cards from struggling local restaurants and distributed them to all employees.[14]

Marion Popcorn FestivalEdit

With its 85-year heritage in popcorn, Wyandot is a longstanding sponsor of the annual Popcorn Festival held in September of each year in Marion.[15]

Wyandot Popcorn MuseumEdit

Wyandot Snacks is a founding sponsor of the Wyandot Popcorn Museum, housed in the Old U.S. Post Office.

SNAC InternationalEdit

Wyandot has supported SNAC International (and its predecessor associations) for decades. [16]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wyandot Snacks History 'http://www.wyandotsnacks.com/Our-History' Accessed June 9, 2017
  2. ^ Day, Beth. Maximizing health, innovating style. bakingbusiness.com June 7, 2016 [1] Retrieved June 10, 2017
  3. ^ Rotuno-Johson, Michelle. The Marion Popcorn Festival. 2014
  4. ^ Smith, Andrew F. Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia. 2013, page 685.
  5. ^ Smith, Andrew F. Food and Drink in American History: A "Full Course" Encyclopedia. 2013, page 685.
  6. ^ Jeffersonville's Wyandot Inc. to get new owner. Indiana Economic Digest Friday, December 23, 2005. [2] Retrieved June 9, 2017
  7. ^ Wyandot Popcorn Museum. Ohio Magazine November 2016. [3] Retrieved June 10, 2017
  8. ^ Wyandot Snacks Appoints Three New Directors To Board: Leader in Better for You Snacks Targets Accelerated Growth in Food Industry's Fastest Growing Segment Retrieved May 23, 2018
  9. ^ Jolie Weber Joins Wyandot Snacks Board Of Directors Retrieved May 31, 2011
  10. ^ Wyandot Snacks builds on food safety rep Retrieved May 5, 2019
  11. ^ bcorporation.net https://bcorporation.net/directory/wyandot-inc. Retrieved April 29, 2020. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Marion Chamber of Commerce leadership [4]. Accessed June 10, 2017
  13. ^ Wyandot reveals $100,000 pledge to Harding 2020 project Retrieved July 13, 2019
  14. ^ Coronavirus in Ohio: Wyandot donating healthy snacks to first responders, schools Retrieved April 29, 2020
  15. ^ Sponsors of the Marion Popcorn Festival [5] Retrieved June 10, 2017
  16. ^ SNAC International Extends All Officer Terms. Retrieved April 30, 2021

External linksEdit