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Manteca firm succeeds in niche market
Marty Van Duyn, left, and son Jared of Manteca-based World Food Products hold their Jumbo Sunflower Seeds as well as jars of pure almond butter and nothing else produced by Ripon’s Diane Quaresma that their firm will be distributing.

Getting products on shelves in supermarkets and convenience stores can be a tough nut to crack given the competition.

Marty Van Duyn had a surefire formula to be able to compete for retail consumer dollars. He drew upon his knowledge of nuts and fruit as a grower and a passion for producing the best possible product to launch World Food Products in 2001.

“You need to put packages (of snacks) on the shelf that you would buy yourself,” Van Duyn said.

World Food Products started out as a trading company buying and selling butter and peas. It has since transformed into a family-owned business that packages its own premium dried fruits, nuts, and snack items for retail stores in seven western states.

The company was born by a desire by Van Duyn to have the ability to control quality from the time you plant a tree until an almond or walnut ends up in the hands of a consumer.

“You do everything to raise a crop and then you hand it off to someone else to process, package, distribute, and market,” he noted.

World Food Products has allowed him to do just that — have control of the complete process. While he no longer is a grower due to the growing demands of World Food Products, his brother still grows almond and walnuts.

The company — run by Van Duyn, his wife Cheryl, and son Jared — is based in the Manteca Industrial Park. Workers not only process and package World Food Products labels but they also package products for other firms.

Van Duyn uses his hands on knowledge of what is grown that goes into the snack food packages — there are roughly 30 almond varieties produced in California’s orchards that produce 80 percent of the world’s supply of almonds  — to make sure nothing but the best quality ends up on the shelves.

You can find what World Food Products offer from Trail Mix Choc-Nut to pecan halves and sliced almonds locally at SaveMart, Food Maxx, Food-4-Less, Costless, Safeway, Marval and O’Brien’s. They’ve partnered with major distributors such as McLane that have helped place their products in convenience stores through the West. Just like with other crops, the United States Department of Agricultural sets grades for what is harvested by 6,000 growers on more than 700,000 acres in the Central Valley. By only acquiring almonds — as well as walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit (banana chips, mangoes, and cranberries) — of the highest grades, the Van Duyns are filling a niche market selling high quality snacks at reasonable prices to consumers.

The small operation allows for intense quality control in the packing operations.

At the same time Jared — who gets credit for the packaging that helps set company products apart from others on the shelves — is constantly looking for ways to make what consumers have come to trust as “clean snacks” due to the lack of additives even cleaner

Quality is just as important to Jared as it is to his father. It is why his name along with his personal email — — appears on the back of every package

“Our goal is to be one of the cleanest snack foods you can buy,” Jared said.

An example is their Jumbo Sunflower Seeds they secure from North Dakota that they roast with less salt than competitors.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email