Santa Delivers Pretzel Crisps to NYC Pedestrians

Pretzel Crisps is all about giving this holiday season. The growing snack brand, a product of Snack Factory, Skillman, N.J., has hired two dozen Santas and their elves to hand out more than 45,000 crunchy snacks on Dec. 16 in New York City.

Pretzel Crisps, which first debuted three years ago, also is running new print ads playing up the pretzel’s flat shape for holding sauces and dips. They appear in this month’s O, The Oprah Magazine and People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue. Subsequent ads will run in 2009 issues of Real Simple, Good Housekeeping and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

“We realized even though we’ve been growing strongly, we needed to get the word out,” Milt Weinstock, who heads up Pretzel Crisps marketing at the privately held Snack Factory. Last April, Pretzel Crisps treated consumers to free samples of the snack while they waited to file their taxes outside six U.S. post offices in Manhattan.

“We’ve spent some money on advertising, but certainly not as much as the Frito-Lays and Rold Golds. We’re like the Davids combating the snack giants, the Goliaths, and we’ve been pretty successful,” Weinstock said, adding that volume often “shoots through the roof” after such events.

Pretzels are among the most popular snacks enjoyed by consumers. While sales plummeted by 5 percent during the low-carb period of 2003-04, the snack quickly bounced back once the fad was over. “People really want to eat these things, especially as they have a relatively decent health halo,” said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior research analyst at market research firm Mintel, Chicago.

The Snack Factory spent $500,000 advertising Pretzel Crisps in the U.S. in 2007 (excluding online), and $1.1 million through September of this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.