Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 19

OPERATIONS
Unique Snacks

With a new logo and brand name, Unique Pretzels becomes Unique
Snacks to take its one-of-a-kind approach to a broader market.
by Dan Malovany

D

Don't blame the Spannuth family for trying something
different. Why shouldn't they? Ever since the bakery accidentally overproofed a batch of pretzels decades ago,
the biggest key to the company's long-term success has
involved making that same old mistake over and over -
much to the delight of its loyal consumers.
In fact, those split-open pretzels, initially marketed
as the "mistakes" that they were, are now popularly
known as Original Splits and remain the top-selling
item for Unique Pretzel Bakery along with its Extra
Dark Splits (which are baked too long on purpose)
and hollow Shells, which are just the outside crust of
the pretzels. The company also offers organic Sprouted
Pretzel Splits and Shells and Sourdough Craft Beer
Pretzel Rings.
And now, for something completely different. On the
eve of its 100th anniversary, which is February 11, 2021,
the Reading, Pa.-based company is hitting the refresh
button with a rebranding initiative to better position it
for future growth.
In addition to rolling out an updated logo, the family
business just tweaked its brand name to Unique Snacks.
The goal, noted Justin Spannuth, vice president and chief
operating officer, involves setting the stage to attract potentially broader opportunities by venturing - either as
planned or by accident as in the past - into other segments of the snack food industry.
"As we are making new products, we are opening ourselves up to be the brand of Unique Snacks that goes beyond pretzels," he said.
The targeted, multifaceted marketing campaign also
will explore other channels and expand its geographic
reach. Currently, Unique Snacks locally distributes its
signature pretzels throughout its core market in eastern

Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, New York
and other adjacent regions.
Nationally, the snack producer supplies several large
retailers and "natural food" chains and seeks to grow its
presence in convenience stores, drug stores and a greater
number of traditional retailers. It also plans to expand its
product line beyond what it currently offers.
"We're really positioning our brand in consumers' and buyers' eyes as a real brand, and not just a
few SKUs on one of the shelves in the natural food
aisle," said Justin Spannuth, whose father William J.
Spannuth is president and brother William P. (Bill)
Spannuth serves as vice president and chief financial
officer. "We want to be a significant portion of the
pretzel space and, eventually, of the snack space as we
innovate with other products."

Rows of perfectly formed
pretzel pieces roll off the
makeup line and head to
proofing, a caustic bath
and baking.
Photography by Jim Greipp,
Pau Hana Productions

It's all in the timing
What makes Unique Snacks so different is its ability to
play in the "natural food" segment and the overall retail
channel with its line of classic pretzels.
"We play with every animal," Justin Spannuth said.
"We have DSD networks in our own backyard and are
getting a lot of growth through national, natural food
distributors. We're a very popular brand because we fit
in the segment of natural, but we're a high-volume-turning standard, salted snack."
Its slogan of "More Flavor, Fewer Ingredients, Smarter
Baking" highlights its products' clean labels and a commitment to extended fermentation where time becomes
an essential ingredient to the overall process.
"There are only two factors left when you don't put
any extra ingredients into the product - just process
and time," he explained. "That's the trick to baking. It's

www.bakingbusiness.com / October 2020 Baking & Snack 19


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Baking & Snack - October 2020

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Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 2
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