Taste of success

When the Shearer family started
manufacturing and selling custom
potato chips to the general public in 1979, they already had a loyal following
of customers in place due to the success of
a three-generation family grocery store.
This tactic has held true for Bob Shearer —
the current CEO and son of Jack and
Rosemary, the founders of Shearer’s Foods
Inc. — who has used brand loyalty to keep
customers coming back for more.

Originally run out of the family grocery
store with four workers, success has added
650 new members to the Shearer’s Foods
family. The company has grown exponentially, becoming the country’s largest manufacturer of kettle-cooked potato chips and having net sales topping $100 million.

Shearer’s Foods has been able to achieve
this success due to its marketing tactics. By
providing both branded products and private
label products, Bob Shearer has been able to
put Shearer’s Foods ahead of many other
snack food companies by working directly with larger corporations, such as Frito-Lay,
Giant Eagle and Kraft Foods. Also, by offering store-level distribution, the company is
able to prosper from its full-service offerings
to retailers.

Employee satisfaction is another aspect
that has contributed to the company’s success. Bob Shearer adds a “personal touch” to
Shearer’s Foods by getting to know each
employee individually to ensure his or her
success in the company. Aside from offering
a wellness program and awarding Department Associates of the Year, Shearer’s Foods
also runs the Caring and Sharing Committee
for which the company has won a number of
community-service-based awards.

In 2005, the company structure was
revamped to include additional external
investors and cut the family-owned outstanding stock to about 40 percent of the company
total. Bob Shearer notes “top-notch quality,
maintaining respectful relationships and
making a difference in people’s lives” as “the
pillars of his success.”

According to Melissa Shearer, vice president of communications and Bob Shearer’s
wife, “The company’s growth over the last 33
years is a reflection of Bob Shearer’s quality
focus, customer-centric attitude and people-first entrepreneurial spirit.”

HOW TO REACH: Shearer’s Foods Inc., (330) 767-7155 or