J & J Snack Foods
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|Traded as||NASDAQ: JJSF
S&P 600 Component
|Industry||Snack foods and beverages|
|Headquarters||Pennsauken, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Gerald B. Shreiber, President/CEO|
|Revenue||$976 million USD (2015)|
|$70.2 million USD (2015)|
Number of employees
J&J Snack Foods Corporation (JJSF) is an American manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of branded niche snack foods and frozen beverages for the food service and retail supermarket industries. Headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ JJSF uses over 175 facilities for manufacturing, warehousing, and distributing located in 44 states, Mexico and Canada. The company is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market as “JJSF”, and serves both nation and international markets.
JJSF’s portfolio of products include soft pretzels, frozen beverages, frozen juice treats and desserts, stuffed sandwiches, burritos, churros, fruit pies, funnel cakes, cookies and bakery goods, and other snack foods and drinks. JJSF has a total of 25 brands with its principal brands in these product arenas are SUPERPRETZEL Soft Pretzels, PRETZEL FILLERS, ICEE, SLUSH PUPPIE, ARCTIC BLAST, TIO PEPE CHURROS, CALIFORNIA CHURROS, FUNNEL CAKE FACTORY FUNNEL CAKES, LUIGI’S REAL ITALIAN ICE, DADDY RAY’S fruit bars. and PHILLY SWILRL, WHOLE FRUIT, and MINUTE MAID frozen novelties.
Since the company’s CEO's, Gerald B. Shreiber, purchase of J&J Soft Pretzel company in 1971 it has seen 44 years of consecutive sales growth. This growth can be attributed to a strategy that emphasizes active development of new and innovative products, penetration into existing market channels and expansion of established products into new markets. The company is structured in three business groups: Food Service, Frozen Beverages, and Retail Supermarket.
In 1971, Gerald Shreiber, a father of three at the time, was shopping for a waterbed for his daughter. Shreiber struck up a conversation with the store’s owner who was discussing his investment loss in a soft pretzel company called J&J Soft Pretzel which went bankrupt. On September 27, 1971 Shreiber attended the Camden, NJ District Court’s bankruptcy auction and purchased J&J Soft Pretzel with a bid of $72,100. The company at the time had 8 employees and $400,000 of sales. In 1972, a West coast office opened up in Los Angeles, CA thus opening the company up to business across the United States. A year later SUPERPRETZEL Soft Pretzel is registered as a trademark and becomes the first official brand of JJSF. In 1978 JJSF sought out to expand its presence in the soft pretzel market through the acquisitions of Frampton Corp located in St. Louis, MO and Pretzel Man Corp located in Los Angeles, CA. The King sized pretzel was also introduced and began being sold in foodservice locations.
In 1981, Shreiber sought new possibilities for JJSF. He found what he was looking for in a canceled supply agreement with Whimsy Stores who at the time was selling churros. JJSF acquired some product inventory as a result of this and began the foundation of the churros segment of the company starting the brand TIO PEPE’s Churros. A year later, JJSF acquired exclusive rights to the AMF pretzel twister machines making the company a leader in the efficiency of soft pretzel manufacturing. In 1983, the acquisition of Bachman Soft Pretzel Co. added another manufacturing plant to JJSF’s list of facilities.
By 1986 JJSF extended its product line to frozen fruit juice bars with the addition of SUPER JUICE and to baked goods with the acquisition of Southern Food Products. SUPERPRETZEL enters the grocery store arena for the first time expanding JJSF’s business outside the foodservice segment. As sales exceed the $25 million mark the company went public offering 600,000 shares and traded on NASDAQ as “JJSF”. In the same year, Shreiber was introduced to the frozen beverage industry through a chance meeting with the, then owner of ICEE, Omar Knedlik. One year later JJSF acquires ICEE-USA extending its product offering to frozen carbonated beverages. Through the late 1980s JJSF continues its success through a number of acquisitions and technological development. From 1988-1989 JJSF acquired 5 more companies. Two most notably LUIGI’S Real Italian Ice and MIA Products Co. The acquisition of MIA Products brought JJSF their current frozen novelty manufacturing plant. By 1989 LUIGI’S is successfully introduced to super markets and sales for the entire company reach $86 million.
In the early 1990s JJSF continues to further develop its soft pretzel line by introducing bite sized snacks. SUPERPRETZEL SOFT PRETZEL BITES are introduced to food service arenas in 1990 and a partnership with KRAFT helps add the cheese filled soft pretzel brand, SUPERPRETZEL SOFTSTIX to the grocery store shelves in 1992. Additionally, JJSF renovates their Pennsauken, NJ soft pretzel facility to a 104,000 square foot distribution center in 1993. The 1990s brought in another stretch of acquisitions of JJSF further extending the company into new markets and developing its presence in its current markets. In 1994 the company acquired The Funnel Cake Factory making JJSF a dominant force in the fried desserts category. The frozen beverage category was further developed with the 1992 acquisition of ARTIC BLAST and 1995 acquisition of international rights for the ICEE brand. The soft pretzel category grew with the 1994 acquisition of Bavarian Soft Pretzels, Inc., the 1996 acquisitions of Pretzel Gourmet Corp and Bakers Best Snack Food Corp., and the 1997 acquisition of TEXAS TWIST Soft Pretzels. In an effort to extend its frozen novelty category JJSF acquired Mazzone Enterprises, Inc. in 1996 and Mama Tish’s International Foods in 1997. The acquisitions of MRS. GOODCOOKIE in 1998 and CAMDEN CREEK BAKERY in 1999 extended the company’s presence in the baked goods category.
Among these acquisitions JJSF made its largest acquisition in 1998 of the National ICEE Corp. through the ICEE-USA subsidiary. At the time, National ICEE Corp. had about $40 million in annual sales distributing mainly to the Eastern USA. The acquisition has significantly increased the JJSF frozen beverage category’s success and it continues to be its largest acquisition to date. Additionally, a year later JJSF established a long-term partnership with The Minute Maid Company. The partnership provides JJSF with exclusive rights to manufacture, sell and distribute frozen juice products under the MINUTE MAID name. This partnership opened JJSF to the development of its frozen novelty category in frozen juice and soft frozen lemonades.
At the turn of the century, JJSF has reached $328 million in sales. From 2001 to 2003 JJSF worked to further develop its soft pretzel category with the launch of cheese filled PRETZEL FILLERS, the SUPERPRETZEL line extension of specialty cheese filled pretzel sticks SUPERPRETZEL PRETZELFILS and a more traditional tasting Gourmet Twists Topped Soft Pretzels. Throughout the next decade JJSF saw a major increase in development to its in store bakery category. Due mainly from the 2001 acquisition of Uptown Bakeries, the WaWa baked goods manufacturer, the 2004 acquisition of Country Home Bakers which supply frozen dough to supermarkets, and the 2008 Jana’s IndulgenceCookies acquisition. Additionally, in 2007 JJSF acquired Hom/Ade Foods Inc. and Radar, Inc. introducing Mary B’s Biscuits and Daddy Ray’s Fig and Fruit Bars to its family of baked goods brands respectively. In 2006 JJSF acquired ICEE of Hawaii and Slush Puppie. Slush Puppie introduced JJSF to the non-carbonated beverage arena making JJSF a leader in the frozen beverage category. Furthermore, JJSF extended its frozen novelty brands with the acquisition of Whole Fruit Sorbet, Fruit-a-Freeze Fruit Bars, and Dogsters Treats for Dogs in 2007.
By 2010, sales for JJSF has surpassed $600 million. In recent years the company has extended its churro product line with the 2010 acquisition of California Churro. A licensing deal with Mondelez International gave JJSF the right to manufacture, market and distribute churros under the OREO brand name branding it as OREO Churros. In 2011, the company introduced handheld sandwiches and pies to its product line with the acquisition of ConAgra Foods. In 2012, JJSF acquired Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzel adding “gourmet” stuffed soft pretzels to its soft pretzel product line and acquired New York Pretzel in 2013. In 2014, JJSF acquired Philly Famous Water Ice, Inc. otherwise known as Philly Swirl. This introduced the unique line of SwirlStix, Candy Spoonz, Popperz, and Fruit Dips to the JJSF frozen novelty segment. By 2014 JJSF reached $800 million sales and 25 brands.
JJSF soft pretzels are sold under many brand names; some of which are: SUPERPRETZEL, PRETZELFILLERS, PRETZELFILS, GOURMET TWISTS, MR. TWISTER, SOFT PRETZEL BITES, SOFTSTIX, SOFT PRETZELBUNS, TEXAS TWIST, BAVARIAN BAKERY,SUPERPRETZEL BAVARIAN, NEW YORK PRETZEL, KIM & SCOTT’S GOURMET PRETZELS and SERIOUSLY TWISTED!; and, to a lesser extent, under private labels. All soft pretzels are sold in the Food Service and Retail Supermarket segments.
Certain soft pretzels qualify under USDA regulations as the nutritional equivalent of bread for purposes of the USDA school lunch program, thereby enabling participating schools to obtain partial reimbursement of the cost of aforementioned soft pretzels from the USDA.
All of JJSF’s soft pretzels are manufactured according to a proprietary formula. The soft pretzels, ranging in size from one to ten ounces in weight, are shaped and formed by patented twister machines. These soft pretzel tying machines are automated, high-speed machines for twisting dough into the traditional pretzel shape. Additionally, some soft pretzels are extruded or shaped by hand. Soft pretzels, after processing, are primarily flash frozen in either raw or baked form and packaged for delivery.
In the Food Service segment JJSF supplies ovens, mobile merchandisers, display cases, warmers and similar merchandising equipment to the retailer to prepare and promote the sale of the soft pretzels. Some of this equipment is proprietary, including combination warmer and display cases that reconstitute frozen soft pretzels while displaying them, thus eliminating the need for an oven.
Frozen Juice Treats and Desserts
JJSF’s frozen juice treats and desserts are branded primarily under the LUIGI’S, WHOLE FRUIT, PHILLY SWIRL, ICEE and MINUTE MAID brand names. All of these products are sold in the Food Service and Retail Supermarket segments.
MINUTE MAID and WHOLE FRUIT frozen juice bars and cups for school food service contain three to four ounces of 100% apple or pineapple juice with no added sugar and 100% of the daily US FDA value of vitamin C. The juice bars are produced in various flavors and are packaged in a sealed push-up paper container referred to as the Milliken M-pak, which is believed to have certain sanitary and safety advantages.
The majority of these products are manufactured from water, sweeteners and fruit juice concentrates in various flavors and packaging including cups, tubes, sticks, M-paks and pints. Someof the products contain ice cream, while WHOLE FRUIT contains pieces of fruit.
JJSF’s churros are sold primarily under the TIO PEPE’S, CALIFORNIA CHURROS and OREO brand names. These products are sold in the Food Service and Retail Supermarkets segments. Churros are Hispanic pastries in stick form which JJSF produces in several sizes according to a proprietary formula. The churros are deep fried, frozen and packaged. At food service point-of-sale they are reheated and topped with a cinnamon sugar mixture. Churros also come in fruit and crème-filled varieties. Similar to the soft pretzel equipment program, JJSF supplies all churro merchandising equipment to its food service customers.
JJSF’s dough enrobed handheld products are marketed under the PATIO, Pillsbury, SUPREME STUFFERS and SWEET STUFFERS brand names and under private labels. The handheld products consist of an outer shell of varying dough consistencies anything from burrito shell to pastry/pie shells with a variety of fillings. Handheld products are sold in the Food Service and Retail Supermarket segments.
JJSF’s bakery products can be found under the MRS. GOODCOOKIE, READI-BAKE, COUNTRYHOME, MARY B’S and DADDY RAY’S brand names, and under private labels. Bakery products include primarily biscuits, fig and fruit bars, cookies, breads, rolls, crumb, muffins and donuts. Products are sold either in raw or pre-baked/thaw and serve forms in the foodservice and retail supermarket segments.
JJSF markets frozen beverages primarily under the names ICEE, SLUSH PUPPIE and PARROT ICE in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Frozen beverages are sold in the Frozen Beverages segment found in foodservice and retail sectors. Similar to that of the soft pretzel and churro equipment programs, JJSF installs frozen beverage dispensers for its ICEE brand at customer locations and thereafter services the machines. JJSF supplies customers with ingredients required for production of the frozen beverages, and supports retail sales efforts with in-store promotions and point-of-sale materials. JJSF also sells frozen non-carbonated beverages under the SLUSH PUPPIE and PARROT ICE brands through a distributor network and through its own distribution network. JJSF provides managed service and/or products to approximately 111,000 Company-owned and customer-owned dispensers. JJSF also has the rights to market and distribute frozen beverages under the name ICEE to the entire continental United States (except for portions of nine states) as well as internationally.
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