Giant Snacks of Wahpeton, North Dakota prides itself in offering the largest (hence the name ‘Giant Snacks’) sunflower seeds for its customer base. Specializing in roasting and packaging high-quality in-shell sunflower seeds, in-shell pumpkin seeds, and corn snacks, Giant Snacks offers multiple flavors including Dill, Salt & Pepper, Bacon Ranch and Kettle Roast (a lower sodium sweet flavor). Sunflower seeds are sold to consumers in 3-oz, 5-oz, 5.75-oz, 9-oz and 12-oz with easy resealable pour spout bag sizes.
To process and package more than 3.5 million pounds of sunflower seeds each year, Giant Snacks operates two twelve-hour shifts, five days a week. Working with HayssenSandiacre, Giant Snacks recently purchased a Novus VFFS bagger to expand their packaging line. Giant Snacks previously purchased Ultima VFFS systems for their products and are happy with the performance and durability. This led them to look at HayssenSandiacre’s newest model, the Novus continuous motion bagger to increase throughput speeds.
“Quality assurance is important throughout the production process to make sure shells are not broken or dirty, are firm and do not have a limp texture. All packages are nitrogen flushed to assure shelf freshness,” says Al Engstrom, Giant Snacks plant manager. Just as quality is important in selecting and packaging the seeds, fully automating its five integrated packaging lines was a priority to increase productivity.
Sunflower seeds are fed into Yamato series scales as part of the HayssenSandiacre Ultima ST form-fill-seal machines or the Novus continuous motion form-fill-seal. After sealing, the package runs through a metal detector, followed by robotic pick and place case packer. The cases are bar coded with the product type, size, date code, time packed and who packed it. Cases are then sealed and distributed all over the U.S.
HayssenSandiacre is proud to be part of Giant Snacks’ operations as they continue to grow. The exceptional taste of Giant sunflower seeds goes back to 1958, when Bob Schuler began selecting the best-tasting sunflowers for his customers. Dedication to quality is still top-priority and Giant Snacks remains a family-owned company.