Monday, August 10, 2015

Del Monte Foods, Inc.

Eighteen California packers, representing about half of the fruit canners in California, formed the California Fruit Canners Association in 1899.

Seventeen years later the association incorporated under the name California Packers Association (Calpak). The association’s premier brand was Del Monte. It was not until 1967 that the Calpack name was phase out and the company used only ‘Del Monte’.

The canning association had expanded to 28 firms, including plants in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Hawaii and more than 50 marketed under the Del Monte label.

From the beginning, the company expanded its operations and packed a vest array of products, including peaches, baked beans, olives, berries, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, cranberries, dried fruit, jams and jellies. Del Monte aggressively marketed its products.

During the 1920s, the company expanded its operations into an array of other canning business including tuna and coffee.

When the United States entered World War II, the company sent 50 percent of its canned fruits and vegetables to the military.

Through an extensive series of post-World War II acquisitions and mergers, the company became a full-scale multinational with banana plantations in the Caribbean, a tuna canning plant in Puerto Rico, tomato fields and canning plants in Mexico, pineapple operations in Thailand and Kenya, vegetables canning plants in Italy and peach packing plants in South Africa.

In 1979, Del Monte merged with RJ Reynolds Industries. During the following two decades there were several ownership changes. In 1999 Del Mote Foods became a publicly traded company. Del Monte fresh produce was then spun off, although it still continues to display the Del Monte label, as do independent firms in Canada, Africa, Europe and Asia.

In 2011 the company was acquired by an investor group led funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Con, L.P Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners.
Del Monte Foods, Inc.

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