Cookie and Cracker Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 335 cookie and cracker manufacturers in the US produce crackers and biscuits, cookies, wafers, and ice cream cones. The industry is comprised of independent manufacturers that produce and sell their own brands, and contract manufacturers that produce and package products for customers under the customer’s brand(s).

Changing Consumer Diets

Demand for cookies and crackers can change with consumer diets and fads.

Food Safety Regulations

Like other food production operations, cookie and cracker manufacturers are subject to regulations regarding food handling, storage, contamination, allergens and package labeling.

Industry size & Structure

A typical cookie and cracker manufacturer operates out of a single location, employs fewer than 20 workers, and generates about $31.5 million annually.

    • The cookie and cracker manufacturing industry consists of about 335 companies which employ about 28,600 workers and generate over $10 billion annually.
    • About 87% of firms have just one production facility. About 46 firms are large, employing 100 or more workers each.
    • The industry is highly concentrated with the 8 largest firms representing 69% of revenue.
    • Customer industries include food distributors, grocery stores, mass merchandisers, drug and discount stores, restaurants, caterers and snack shops.
    • Large companies include Mondelez International (Oreo, Ritz, Nabisco), Kellogg’s (Town House), Campbell’s (Pepperidge Farms, Snyder’s Lance, Archway) and Nestle (Toll House). Some large manufacturers are highly diversified and produce a wide variety of foods and beverages in addition to cookies and crackers.
    • Contract manufacturers include Hearthside Foods, Western Baking Corporation, Oakhouse Bakery, and Richmond Baking.
                                    Industry Forecast
                                    Cookie and Cracker Manufacturers Industry Growth
                                    Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                    Recent Developments

                                    May 20, 2023 - Rate Hikes Hit Small Businesses
                                    • Small businesses are among the most vulnerable to interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, The Wall Street Journal reports. The average rate for a loan from the US Small Business Administration, which historically costs less than a bank loan, has reached double-digits, driving many small firms to borrow less, according to WSJ. Firms with smaller payrolls and valuations are feeling the pinch, with some choosing to prioritize reducing debt rather than growing their business. Moreover, smaller companies are accounting for an increasing share of layoffs this year. US companies with between one and nine employees laid off or fired 341,000 workers in March, more than twice as many as in February, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. That was four times as many as these companies reported in March 2022.
                                    • US organic food sales topped $60 billion for the first time last year, almost doubling 2021’s growth and accounting for 6% of total food sales, according to the 2023 Organic Industry Survey, released in May by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Sales of organic produce once again topped all organic categories, totaling $22 billion and accounting for 15% of all US fruit and vegetable sales. Total organic sales, which included nonfood products, hit a record $67.6 billion in 2022, while sales of organic food totaled $61.7 billion, the OTA survey found. The sector’s 4% growth rate was nearly twice the pace of 2021. The accelerated growth of the organic sector defied inflation, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical events, a labor shortage and other adverse factors. "Organic has proven it can withstand short-term economic storms,” OTA CEO Tom Chapman said in a press release.
                                    • Wholesale egg prices fell by almost 11% in March, following a 7% decline in February, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The steep decline is largely due to a recovery in egg production and weaker consumer demand, Brian Moscogiuri, global trade strategist at egg supplier Eggs Unlimited, told CNN. The egg supply is recovering from last year’s historic outbreak of bird flu, which killed nearly 60 million layers and sent egg prices soaring to new highs. The price of eggs rose more than those of almost any other consumer good or service last year, in percentage terms, according to CNN. Will 2023 see a repeat of last year’s contagion? In April, North Dakota reported its first confirmed case of bird flu this year – the first in a commercial poultry flock in seven months, The Bismarck Tribune reports.
                                    • In a bid to return staffing at plants and warehouses to pre-pandemic levels, food companies are reaching out to former employees, The Wall Street Journal reports. Food manufacturers are reaching out via text, email, LinkedIn and social media to retirees and other former workers who left during the pandemic. To boost employment, some food companies have raised hourly wages, offered bonuses, hired temporary workers, and introduced flexible shifts, WSJ reports. Food giant General Mills launched a pilot program in the summer of 2022 that brings retirees back to work at two plants in Missouri and Illinois, General Mills’ chief human resources officer, told WSJ. Retirees, in particular, are a valuable resource as they typically require less training and can also act as mentors to less-experienced workers. The company’s rehire rate increased by roughly 50% across last year compared with 2021.
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