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Frito-Lay to buy Spitz International

Canada’s biggest brand of sunflower and pumpkin seed snacks will become part of Frito-Lay in a deal announced Wednesday.

New York-based Frito-Lay, owned by PepsiCo, has announced an agreement to buy Spitz International Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

“Spitz enables Frito Lay Canada to grow our seed business in Canada and help us expand in the U.S., while supporting PepsiCo’s broader health and wellness strategy,” said Al Carey, Frito-Lay North America’s CEO, in a release Wednesday. “Spitz has a very strong brand in Canada, and we plan to create new

growth opportunities for the brand across North America.”

Once this deal is complete, Spitz will continue its Canadian operations at Bow Island and Medicine Hat in southern Alberta and will report into Frito-Lay North America, the buyer said.

Spitz will complement Frito-Lay’s portfolio of healthier snack options such as this year’s introduction of True North nut snacks, Frito-Lay said.

Frito Lay Canada has “a proud history of growing small Canadian companies to expand the distribution of their products,” said Marc Guay, president of Frito-Lay’s Canadian wing, in the same release.

“Surpassed expectations”

Spitz International was founded in 1982 by Dutch immigrants Tom and Emmy
Droog, who marketed their first crops of sunflower seeds as bird feed before expanding into the consumer confectionary market.

Spitz was one of the first companies in North America to make and market flavoured sunflower seeds, and also one of the first to market sunflower seeds in resealable bags, Frito-Lay said. Spitz later also became one of the first North American companies to market flavoured pumpkin seeds.

“Our modest plans have surpassed our expectations and now with a
company like Frito-Lay behind Spitz we know our legacy will continue and our
company will be in a better position to reach our goal: to become the leading
sunflower and pumpkin seed brand in North America,” Tom Droog said in Frito-Lay’s release.

Spitz seeds are distributed nationally in Canada and are readily
available in the U.S. The company employs about 70 people at its distribution centre at Medicine Hat and at its production facility and company
headquarters at Bow Island, about 60 km west.

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