A.C. HORN - since 1907

News

Global Snacking Phenomenon

Snacking is so entrenched in our society now it’s no longer a trend but the new national pastime. Nearly all Americans (94%) snack at least once a day, according to recently published Mintel data. And the frequency of snack occasions is increasing. Half of all adults (50%) report they snack two to three times per day. 

Americans aren’t the only ones snacking—it is truly a global phenomenon with Nielsen reporting the global snack market topping $374 billion in sales. And nuts ands seeds as ingredients feature prominently within this snack segment. According to Innova Market Insights nuts and seeds accounted for more than 37 percent of global snack food launches in 2013 and nuts’ share within the snack category continues to grow. 

Another product experiencing phenomenal sales within snacking is ready-to-eat (RTE) popcorn. The RTE popcorn/caramel corn category, according to IRI, witnessed sales increases of 18.17% in a single year (May 2015 compared to May 2014). Multiple individual brands saw sales of their products skyrocket more than 100% during this time period, contributing to the impressive overall category sales increase. 

Part of the reason behind an improved outlook for nuts and popcorn is the emphasis on healthy snacking. Driving this growth for better-for-you (BFY) snacks are Millennials and Generation Z—the demographic cluster of those ages 23 and younger. These combined population segments have positive attitudes about snacking, a desire to eat more healthfully and a need for convenience. 

Both nuts and popcorn fit into this BFY snack trend perfectly. RTE popcorn, with its low calorie count, is an almost guilt-free food. The health benefits of various types of nuts are well-known. Nuts are popular eaten alone, or incorporated into nutrition bars or trail mix. Trail mix combines ingredients consumers perceive as healthy, such as nuts, seeds and fruit, or can include a touch of chocolate for a grand slam win. 

AC Horn Manufacturing manufactures quality equipment for efficient processing or production of nuts, seeds, popcorn and kettle corn to allow manufacturers to take advantage of these growing market segments. Selecting the right piece of equipment for processing nuts and seeds, or for popcorn is crucial to maintaining profit margins and ensuring that a quality product is going out the door. Improve your throughput with a piece of reliable equipment designed to last for decades. 

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Generations of craftsmanship

Company loyalty is a rare commodity within business today. What’s even more rare is intergenerational company loyalty.  AC Horn Manufacturing is proud to be a rare organization. “We have several multigenerational employees from the same family,” explains, Michael Horn, president and a fourth-generation Horn employee himself. “Fathers, sons and grandsons all work together here crafting our machines. We’re really proud that our employees enjoy working here and encourage their family members to work here too.”

Skills and knowledge are handed down from father to son and generation to generation. This creates institutional knowledge that is invaluable to the organization and its customers. The company motto of ‘Excellence and Integrity’ is reflected in the Horn work environment. Employees are valued for their excellence and integrity, which they build into each piece of equipment.

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Michael Horn named President

DALLAS — Michael Douglas Horn, Jr. is the new president of AC Horn Manufacturing. He succeeds his father, Doug, in the role. Continuing a family tradition of leadership and integrity, Michael takes over the reins as only the fourth president in the company’s more than 100-year history. Like his predecessors, he is committed to ensuring the consistent, superior quality associated with Horn machines is carried through into the next generation and beyond. “Horn equipment has always been made with good, honest craftsmanship,” says Michael Horn. “This is evidenced in its reliability and the fact that it is trusted by both large and small snack food producers. My responsibility is to safeguard this heritage while growing the business.”

 

Company Vision

Before taking the helm at Horn, Michael worked in various positions in the company, starting in his teens on the shop floor. He rejoined the company as an Equipment Salesman at age 29, later becoming the Vice President of Sales.

Michael is also a proud Texas A&M graduate and former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer. “I’m honored to be leading this next phase of growth for Horn. We’ll be focused on creating solutions to fit the changing needs of our customers and expanding globally.”

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Doug Horn tribute

On Saturday, July 5th, 2014, Michael Douglas ‘Doug’ Horn, Sr., passed away. He was biking through the campus of his beloved alma mater Southern Methodist University, when he took a fatal fall from his bicycle. In the words of his wife, Priscilla, he catapulted directly into the arms of his beloved savior, Jesus Christ.

In October 2012, Doug was diagnosed with a progressive brain disorder. To further understand his diagnosis and to develop coping mechanisms, he worked closely with the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas, which allowed him to continue to steer AC Horn & Co. until his death. Doug prided himself by embodying the company motto “Excellence and Integrity.” He always said that when the excellence runs out, the integrity kicks in.

After announcing Doug’s passing, Priscilla carried out his wishes and designated Michael Douglas Horn, Jr., as the new president of AC Horn & Co. As the fourth generation of leadership from the Horn family, he is committed to following in his father’s footsteps by leading and conducting the company with the highest standards of “Excellence and Integrity.” The company recently closed out the most successful fiscal year in its 107-year history, and Michael plans to maintain that momentum through the transition into this new chapter.

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