Pringles departs P&G
The $2.35 billion deal with Diamond Foods is also a milestone for Procter as it sheds its last food brand after having already sold Jif peanut butter, Folger’s coffee and Crisco shortening.
Nonetheless, the sale of Pringles was not unexpected, as Procter has refocused its attention on the core businesses of beauty, grooming and household care. “Pringles is an iconic, billion-dollar snack brand with significant global manufacturing and supply chain infrastructure,” said Michael J. Mendes, chief executive of Diamond Foods, in a statement.
Pringles has kept up with some of its rivals in the flavor department of late, offering salt-and-vinegar, cheddar and pizza versions along with spicier asian flavourings as well. While Pringles’ sales had been growing of late, Mr. Gere said that they had not been nearly as robust as many of P.& G.’s other megabrands.
The history is interesting in the 1950s P&G were a leader in edible oils, but lacked a distribution network to ship perishable bags of chips to grocery stores, so it directed its researchers to come up with a longer-lasting chip that could be distributed with P.& G.’s existing distribution network. With robust packaging and a desire for uniform in size, texture and taste P&G wanted to create a perfect chip to address consumer complaints about broken and stale chips and air in the bags.
The task was assigned to a chemist named Fredric Baur, who from 1956 to 1958 created Pringles’ saddle shape out of fried potato dough and also its distinctive can packaging.