The North American Sweet 60 is a subset of the Global Top 100 list. In order to qualify for the listing, companies have to be based in North America.
And the changes keep on coming. It’s all about stability and profitability. Looks like 2017 is going to be much like 2016 with more candy companies under new management, or at least a change of management.
As a way to keep The Hershey Co. growing 2-3 percent each year, new CEO and President Michele Buck plans to cut its workforce by about 15 percent, with mostly hourly employees. Former CEO, John Bilbrey relinquished his position March 1, and was elected in May for a one-year term on the board of directors. In the last five years, Hershey has increased sales each year except 2015 when it took a slight dive of about $35 million. This past year, Hershey saw an increase from $7.39 billion to $7.44 billion, and the company expects to end the year around $7.59 billion. Buck expects her “Margin of Growth” plan to eventually save the company $150 to $175 million per year by 2019.
Italian Ferrero Group was set to purchase Fannie May and Harry London chocolates, owned by 1-800-Flowers May 30 for $115 million cash, but the transaction wasn’t completed at press time. The deal includes all assets owned by Fannie May Brands, including its 79 retail stores around the Chicago area, a manufacturing facility in North Canton, Ohio, warehouses and distribution plants in Chicago and Maple Heights, Ohio, and its e-commerce business. Ferrero, which approaches sales of close to $11 billion a year, set up a partnership to continue to sell through the 1-800-Flowers website.
Other reorganizations including Just Born Quality Confections, of Bethlehem, Pa., which created a board of directors in January with cousins David Shaffer named chairman and Ross Born, sole ceo. Five independent members were added to ensure the family-owned business continues to thrive. The company notes that only 3 percent of family-run businesses survive past the fourth generation. David Yale will continue as coo and president.
Jeffrey Harmening, who has served as president and coo of General Mills since last year, is taking over as ceo effective June 1. Ken Powell will continue as chairman of the board during the transition and until his retirement expected in about a year, according to a press release. General Mills has been estimated to have about 23 percent of the cereal bar/energy bar business and produces fruit snacks as well.
Tony Jacobs has been promoted to president of Bazooka Candy Brands, a division of The Topps Co. Jacobs says the job duties are essentially the same. “Ownership elevated the role based upon the growth we have achieved and the importance of the global confectionery business to the overall Topps business,” he adds.
Justin’s was acquired by Hormel Food Corp., of Austin, Minn., in May 2016 for $286 million. Justin’s of Boulder, Colo., which makes peanut, almond and hazelnut butters as well as peanut butter cups in milk, dark and white chocolate, will continue to operate its two plants. Michael Guanella, who was initially appointed chief operating officer for Justin’s by both companies in the merger, is now president of Justin’s. Hormel, the parent company of Skippy, Jennie-O and SPAM, does over $2 billion in sales a year. Justin’s is estimated at doing about $100 million in sales a year.
Snack bar giant, Clif Bar, headquartered in Emeryville, Calif., now has two company-owned bakeries with its newest operations in Twin Falls, Idaho, starting up last June. The $90-million, 300,000-sq.-ft. , sustainability-focused facility uses biophilic design to connect its workers with nature. The idea of using more than 200 windows, vaulted skylights, light-directed solatubes, indoor walls of recycled barn wood and natural stone, and indoor plants is to increase the health of their employees. Clif Bar, estimated at $792 million in annual sales, has been rapidly growing over the last few years and may have as much as 35 percent of the lifestyle bar category.