It's a Snap
By Allison Zisko
Snapware's success in the food storage business, its recent growth, and its established distribution network made it irresistible to World Kitchen, which acquired the Mira Loma, Calif.-based company last month and has appointed a joint integration team to make the transition seamless for its retail partners.
The merger grants World Kitchen access to the food storage business, a growing category that it had been unable to tap, while lending Snapware the marketing and branding expertise of a leading housewares company.
"We believe the combination of Snapware and World Kitchen makes a stronger company," said Diane Teer, president of World Kitchen North America.
The sluggish economy and the slowdown in the housing market have fueled two consumer trends: the urge to organize and de-clutter their homes since they are less inclined to move; and to cook more meals at home and save the leftovers. World Kitchen was unable to capitalize on the subsequent growth in storage products and thus saw Snapware as the perfect partner. "The acquisition allows us to address broader growth trends to give us an edge and become a more valuable resource," Teer said.
Snapware is a 16-year-old company that established itself with its initial line of airtight plastic canisters with flip-up lids. The line evolved and expanded over the years; its number-one product line is now a modular system that stacks and stores and maintains the flip-top lid. It has also developed a glass food storage product with a four-latch, airtight polypropylene lid that has resonated well with consumers, according to Craig Allen, the founder and chief executive officer of Snapware.
In recent years, Snapware broadened its product mix considerably (tackling other home storage needs) and benefitted from a distribution facility it built five years ago to better serve its retail customers, which includes mass merchants, specialty stores, grocery chains and home improvement centers, among others. "We have a strong foundation for our retail partners," Allen said.
What the company lacked, Allen said, is the marketing muscle and the brand-building expertise of a company like World Kitchen. With this acquisition, "we get their expertise on how to take a brand and make it a household name."
The deal was scheduled to close at the end of December, and terms were not disclosed. During the transition period, the first priorities of an integration team made up of executives from both companies "is developing the best in product quality, on-time delivery and customer service," according to Teer.
Both companies will exhibit at the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago in March, but new product details were unavailable at press time. Allen, who will remain with Snapware, said, "It's a nice marriage that should make for some interesting products down the road."