Wyandot: Reinventing the snack industry
We have a food problem, and snacks are the tip of the spear. They aren’t entirely to blame, but they contribute to childhood obesity, adult obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. So, maybe they have a bad reputation for good reasons. Are we talking about trail mix? Not really.
We are talking about what has recently been passed along as food. These foods are a combination of some of the following: refined flour, refined sugar, corn syrup, starches, solids, long lists of unpronounceables, dyes, some type of fat, often deep-fried, with icing. Consider the humble Twinkie. What is it? How would you even describe it? The description certainly wouldn’t sound like food.
The problem is people are more mobile than ever. We are less likely to sit down to three meals. We are less likely to eat at traditional meal times. Snacks are part of many people’s everyday lives. Plus, they tend to evoke certain emotions that feel good. That isn’t likely to change. But, the quality of the snack can certainly change. And it should.
A new category is evolving: better-for-you snacks. Wyandot is leading the charge. Wyandot was founded in 1936 as a popcorn company to supplement their farming operations. Popcorn took off, and so did Wyandot. The company has reinvented itself several times over the last 85 years. Popcorn turned into corn chips into tortilla chips and then into puffed snacks. It is no surprise they are leading now.
Wyandot hired us to help them articulate this most recent change as they became a B Corp. They also started using the UN’s SDGs to guide their philanthropic work. They are reorienting how they run their company. They are improving the quality of the products they make. And, they are focusing their philanthropy. They are an innovative manufacturing company that is doing a lot more than just making snacks.