Snyder's-Lance, Inc. has announced that it’s creating a new, "better for you" division and increasing its investment in Late July Snacks, LLC — a leader in organic and non-GMO snacks.  

The moves are an effort by the company to create a stronger presence in a healthier, more sustainable food industry.

"We see our company growing and evolving to become the trusted leader in snacking, including better-for-you snacking options," explains Carl E. Lee, Jr., president and ceo of Snyder's-Lance.  

In just a few years, Late July has become a leader in the industry with the number-one organic tortilla chip.  

Nicole Bernard Dawes, ceo and founder of Late July will retain her ownership position in the company, and with her entire team, will continue to run Late July from their Boston, Ma., and San Francisco Bay Area offices.

"To support this direction, we needed the right partner, which we found in Nicole Dawes and Late July,” Lee says. “While we have been ahead of our competitors in providing healthy snacks, this new division intensifies that focus and enables us to become the trusted leader in healthy snacking and sustainable food.”

Dawes says she wasn’t looking to sell out Late July, so when Snyder's-Lance came to her with an opportunity to create a better platform for the brand, she knew she’d found the right company to make a deal with.

"What excites me most about our relationship with this new division is the ability to continue being an alternative to the big food conglomerates and the guarantee that Late July will always be synonymous with leadership and advocacy for organic and non-GMO foods,” she says. “This partnership also makes Late July the only organic, non-GMO food brand with access to its own national direct store distribution (DSD) system, which is a game-changer for sustainable food."

The better-for-you efforts also continue Synder’s-Lance’s overall transformation as a company, which started with the acquisition of Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps in late 2012 and the acquisition of Baptista's Bakery, as well as the divestiture of Lance Private Brands in the middle of this year.

“Today, Snyder's-Lance is uniquely positioned to succeed as we have scale and an industry leading national Direct Store Delivery ("DSD") distribution that is not always accessible to emerging brands — yet we are nimble and able to respond to rapidly changing consumer tastes with our exceptional innovation capabilities,” Lee explains. “We look to take full advantage of this position, bringing significant resources and research capabilities to Late July in support of their mission to expand organic and non-GMO snacks."