Tom's Snacks

Last updated
Tom's Foods
  • Tom Huston Peanut Company [1]
  • Tom's Foods (1966–2005)
Type Private (1925–66)
Subsidiary (1966–2005)
Industry Food
FounderTom Huston
Defunct2005;18 years ago (2005)
FateAcquired by General Mills in 1966, declared bankruptcy in 2005 [2]
Key people
David Singer CEO
Products Snack food

Tom's Snacks Co. is an American snack food brand currently owned by San Antonio Snacks. The former "Tom's Foods Company" had been established by Tom Huston in Columbus, Georgia, in 1925. [4] The business remained in the food industry until 2005 when it declared bankruptcy, [2] with the brand being acquired by Snyder's-Lance, Inc. [5]




In 1925, Tom Huston founded "Tom's Roasted Peanuts", [6] and began selling his peanuts for a nickel a bag. Within two years, Tom's peanuts were being sold around the country, generating US$4 million in sales. Due to unpaid notes, though, Huston lost the company to the bank. In 1932, Walter Richards bought Tom's from the bank and took the company public. By the 1950s, sales reached $16 million.

Changes in ownership

In 1966, General Mills acquired Tom's for $75 million, and changed the name to "Tom's Foods". In the 1970s, General Mills attempted to launch Tom's chips into national supermarkets and branched off a new vending office snack service. By 1983, Tom's had changed ownership again. Rowntree Mackintosh paid $215 million to acquire the company in a mutual agreement. During their ownership, they launched a franchise program for their distributors. Due to the lack of sales, the company was once again sold. TF Acquisition Corporation took over the company in 1988, paying $200 million in a management buyout. [7] Under this new ownership, they opened new chip plants in Columbus, Georgia [8] and Tennessee expanding their network of independent distributors.

Tom's had goals of increasing sales to over $400 million over the next five years. Their goals fell short, and in 1993, Heico Acquisitions took the company over. [9] Over the next few years, sales suffered, falling to $200 million. As a result, Tom's Foods had declared bankruptcy. [10]


In 2005, Lance Inc. won the bid to acquire Tom's Foods for $37.9 million plus certain liabilities [11] and renamed it Tom's Snacks Co. As of 2016, Tom's products are distributed across the country by Snyder's-Lance.

Tom's Snacks is the first mainstream snack company to feature wrestlers on the packaging of their potato chip bags, including TNA stars Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Mr. Anderson, Velvet Sky, "The Pope" D'angelo Dinero, and A.J. Styles. [12]


Tom's products include potato chips, corn chips, fries, tortilla chips, and pork skins. [13]

Additionally, Bugles are manufactured under the brand name. [14]

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  1. History of Tom's Foods Inc. on Funding Universe
  2. 1 2 A legacy in peanuts: Columbus says goodbye to Tom’s Foods factory by Haisten Willis, For the AJC, April 6, 2021
  3. Tom's Foods on Georgia Encyclopedia
  4. "Who We Are". Tom's Snacks. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  5. Tom's Snacks on Chisps and Crisps
  6. Bowers, Paige (2006-10-06). "Tom's Foods". New Georgia Encyclopedia . Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  7. "The management of Tom's Foods Inc., a snack food manufacturer, announced Tuesday it has reached an agreement to purchase the company from its present owner, Rowntree PLC, for $200 million". United Press International. 1988-04-26. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  8. Gates, Jim (2014-12-15). "Tom's Foods - Concrete Peanut Silos - Columbus, Georgia - Aerial". YouTube . Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  9. "Tom's bought". Chicago Tribune . Tribune Media. 1993-05-15. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  10. Mahoney, Ryan (2004-11-15). "Snack food-maker Tom's can't pay $63M in debt". Atlanta Business Chronicle . American City Business Journals . Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  11. "Lance Wins Bid for Tom's Foods". Convenience Store News. EnsembleIQ. 2005-10-19. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  12. "Kurt Angle Replacing AJ Styles, More on TNA Working with Tom's Brand Snacks". Wrestle News. Qool Media Inc. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2016-09-20.[ dead link ]
  13. "Tom's Product Locator". Snyder’s-Lance Product Locator. Snyder’s-Lance. 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-09-15. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  14. "Our Snacks: Bugles". Tom's Snacks. Retrieved July 17, 2016.[ dead link ]