Ever since people first could get a snacking fix and satisfy their hunger, snacks have been integral to our history. This includes everything from chips and pretzels to candy & chocolate. Despite the introduction of heavier foods such as pretzels and chips, these were not made introduce until the 1800s. You can find some of today’s most famous snacks to date back to even more early times. These eight snack food companies have been in business for a long time and love some of their products. You won’t believe how old these brands are!
Margaret Rudkin started Pepperidge Farm in 1937, only baking bread at first. What began as a visit to Europe in the 1950s led Ms. Rudkin to make changes that would ultimately benefit Pepperidge Farm! She took this trip and got inspired to expand her company’s product range, including adding cookies! This decision proved so successful that the Campbell’s corporation came swooping in and offered to buy the company.
The Frito-Lay Company, Inc. was initially established in 1932 when Charles Elmer Doolin purchased the recipe for corn chips and a potato ricer from a corn chip manufacturer for $100. This became the company’s start-up cost. Doolin was the first owner to call it Frito Co. for short, and it became holding company Frito-Lay in 1945 after a partnership with H.W. Lay & Company for potato chips production.
Although the Slim Jim company has only been around since the 1990s, it originally started back in 1929 when Adolph Levis first had the idea of packaged meat. Levi sold the jerky company to General Mills in 1967 for $20 million. Levi’s later sold the company to Conagra, part of General Mill’s business. I find it interesting that Slim Jim’s first manufacturing plant in North Carolina closed on May 20, 2011, when former product spokesman Randy Savage passed away.
Utz Chips products have always been about potato chips, and they were founded in 1921. They use traditional recipes and are headquartered in Hanover, PA. They sponsor the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Washington Nationals.
It’s fair to say that 1921 was the year of the potato chip, as not only did Utz, the snack food company Wise founded as the Wise Potato Chip Co. Now best known for its popular snacks like Cheez Doodles, bagged popcorn, and tortilla chips, Planters also offers pork rinds. Wise Foods started by Earl Wise Sr. in 1981 in Berwick, PA. In 2012 it was bought by Mexican company Arca Continental.
Rold Gold Pretzels have been around for more than a century and were founded 15 years before Frito-Lay took over. Rold Gold was the American Cone & Pretzel Company, founded by businessman L.J. Schumaker in 1917, so they predated their current owner by quite a lot. As legend has it, the Schumaker family tried to sell Rold Gold to Red Dot Foods. However, the deal was called off when Red Dot filed for bankruptcy. Frito-Lay then rescued them from this unfortunate situation.
A lesser-known company, American snack food brand Lance Inc. has been in business since 1917. He produces various popular brands such as Captain’s Wafers, Cape Cod Potato Chips, D’oro breadsticks, and Archway cookies.
Sun-Maid has been a big company for many years, but it started small as the California Associated Raisin Co. The raisin maiden on the wrapper is now an internationally recognized icon, ensuring consumers have quality products they can trust. Did you know? The Sun-Maid Girl was Lorraine Collett. She was an employee at Sun-Maid who would put on her red bonnet at marketing conventions and help hand out samples of the sun-dried raisins. That became the inspiration for the company’s iconic logo.