Wellness Foods

PepsiCo/Frito Lay picks up pita chip purveyor

Source: FoodProcessing.com

Nov 21, 2005

On Nov. 21, PepsiCo announced its agreement, pending government approval, to purchase Stacy's Pita Chip Co. — the top-selling maker of pita chips, with sales approaching $60 million this year. Stacy's, which has more than 100 employees, will continue to be based in Randolph, Mass. It is expected to operate as a separate unit and report to Irene Rosenfeld, Frito-Lay North America chairman and chief executive officer. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stacy's is an all-natural snack company with strong growth potential that supports Frito-Lay's desire to participate more broadly in the $90 billion macrosnack category. It compliments the company's growing portfolio of healthier snack options. Stacy's pita chips are distributed nationwide and have become the sales leader in the rapidly growing pita chip category. The company's pita chips come in five flavors and qualify for PepsiCo's Smart Spot, a symbol on select products to make shopping easier for families looking for healthier snack and beverage choices. Stacy's pita chips are baked and have no cholesterol or trans fats.

Stacy Madison and Mark Andrus, founders of Stacy's Pita Chip Co. Photo courtesy of www.stacyspitachips.com.

"I am delighted to welcome Stacy's employees to the Frito-Lay family. Stacy's has enjoyed tremendous success since it was founded nine years ago," said Rosenfeld. "Stacy's enables Frito-Lay to be a leader in the pita chips category, while supporting our plans to expand our snack offerings to meet consumers' changing needs and lifestyles. Stacy's has created a unique entrepreneurial identity, which has been instrumental to its success, and we plan to preserve that identity while providing access to Frito-Lay's resources.

Humble origins

Stacy's Pita Chip Co. was founded in 1997 by a social worker and a psychologist with a passion for good food and a commitment to healthy living. With a desire for a career in the food industry, but without the capital to open a restaurant, Stacy Madison and Mark Andrus began serving healthy pita bread roll-up sandwiches in Boston's Financial District. As an incentive for customers waiting in line, they baked the leftover pita bread to create different flavored chips. Thus, the Stacy's Pita Chip Co. was born.

"We all know there is tremendous potential for Stacy's, because we have lived and breathed it for many years," said Stacy Madison, Stacy's co-founder. "We knew what our plans were, and now with a company like Frito-Lay behind the Stacy's brand, the growth possibilities are far beyond what we might have imagined."

"We feel this is a tremendous opportunity for Stacy's people and a huge benefit for consumers," added Mark Andrus, Stacy's co-founder. "Our number-one complaint here at Stacy's is 'difficulty finding your pita chips,' and now we will finally be able to get our chips into the mouths of those consumers who have been patiently waiting."