Rold Gold refers to first a company and then a remaining brand of pretzels, now owned by Frito-Lay. The company, originally named the American Cone and Pretzel Company, was founded in 1917 by prominent Philadelphia businessman L.J. Schumaker.
Run for its first half century as a family business, Rold Gold expanded its operations to St. Louis, Missouri, and El Segundo, California, and established a reputation for producing pretzels. From 1921 until 1955, the company also owned the Continental Packing Company, a pimento canning plant located near Macon, Georgia, but sold that part of the business in 1955, in response to increasing competition from overseas canners. The Schumaker family sold Rold Gold to Red Dot Foods Inc. of Madison, Wisconsin, in 1960, but the deal fell through when Red Dot went bankrupt and its principal owner committed suicide. Frito-Lay then purchased Rold Gold in 1961, and has owned the pretzel company ever since.
In the years since its purchase by Frito-Lay, Rold Gold has expanded its sales nationwide. While on-bag advertising states that Rold Gold is "America's No. 1 Pretzel", when measured by total dollar sales in the United States, Rold Gold is currently the #2 pretzel brand behind Snyder's of Hanover.
Rold Gold pretzels offer a range of pretzel and snack products. All of these items are baked, not fried, and most are lactose free.