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Del Monte History

This page was last updated on June 9, 2013.

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1886

The Del Monte Name Premieres -- The Del Monte name was first used by an Oakland, California, foods distributor to designate a premium blend of coffee prepared especially for the elegant Hotel Del Monte on the Monterey peninsula.

1892

The Del Monte Brand is Introduced -- The Del Monte brand is introduced when the firm expanded its business and selected Del Monte as the brand name for its new line of canned peaches.

1898

California Fruit Canners Association (CFCA) was formed when 18 West Coast canning companies merged. The Del Monte brand was one of several brands marketed by the new company.

1906

Earthquake Devastates San Francisco -- The city's food processing facilities were mostly destroyed. The rebuilt Del Monte Plant No. 1 became the world's largest fruit and vegetable cannery. Plant No. 1, on famous Fisherman's Wharf, is now known as the Cannery at Del Monte Square.

1909

The Del Monte Shield is Introduced -- The Del Monte Shield makes its first appearance on a can label.

1911

Packaging Innovations Abound -- The "sanitary" three-piece can replaces hand-soldered containers, ushering in the era of modern, mechanized canning.

1916

Calpak is Formed -- California Fruit Canners Association (CFCA) consolidated its business with three other large canners to create California Packing Corporation ("Calpak"). The Del Monte brand takes center stage as the new company's strategy is to offer one high-quality brand, advertise nationally and distribute products nationally. These other canneries included Griffin and Skelley Company; and the Central California Canneries Company. At the time of its organization, Calpak had a combined operation of sixty canneries.

1917

Advertising Milestone -- The company becomes the first U.S. fruit and vegetable processor to advertise nationally with the first Del Monte brand advertisement appearing in the Saturday Evening Post on April 17.

California Packing Corporation created Utah Packing Corporation as a subsidiary to operate the five canneries in Utah owned by William J. (Jake) Parker.

1920

The Del Monte Guarantee -- Calpak establishes stringent quality specifications for its premium brand, Del Monte. Early ads assure customers "Not a label, but a guarantee."

1967

Calpak Becomes Del Monte Corporation -- Calpak changes its name to Del Monte Corporation.

1971

Del Monte the First to Adopt Nutritional Labeling -- Del Monte becomes the first major U.S. food processor to voluntarily adopt nutritional labeling on all its food products, an innovation that makes headlines across the country.

1979

Del Monte is Acquired by R.J. Reynolds -- Del Monte Corporation is acquired by R.J. Reynolds Industries (later RJR Nabisco).

1990

RJR Nabisco Sells Del Monte -- RJR Nabisco sells former Del Monte Corporation units separately. Del Monte Foods -- domestic processed fruit, vegetable and tomato products operations -- is purchased by investor group led by Merrill Lynch.

1997

Group Purchases Del Monte; Contadina Brand Acquired -- Texas Pacific Group purchases Del Monte Foods. Contadina brand is added to Del Monte Foods portfolio.

1999

Del Monte Foods Company Begins Trading on the NYSE -- Shares of Del Monte Foods Company begin trading on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges under the DLM ticker symbol.

2000

SunFresh Brand is Acquired -- Worldwide rights to the SunFresh brand of premium citrus and tropical fruits are acquired.

2001

S&W Brand is Acquired -- Worldwide rights to the S&W brand of processed fruit, vegetable. tomato and specialty sauce products are acquired.

2002

Del Monte Nearly Triples In Size -- Del Monte completes its largest acquisition from H.J. Heinz Company: the pet food and snacks, seafood, private label soup and gravy. College Inn broth, and infant feeding businesses, nearly tripling the Company's size and elevating its stature in these businesses.

2004

Del Monte Square is Dedicated -- Del Monte Foods plays a major role in revitalizing the historic waterfront area of San Francisco that includes the site of its former Plant No. 1, once the world's largest fruit and vegetable cannery. On September 28, 2004, this historic site is officially dedicated as Del Monte Square.

2006

Del Monte Becomes Second Largest Pet Foods Company -- Del Monte sells its U.S. retail private label soup and gravy businesses and its U.S. infant feeding business. The Company acquires Meow MiX and Milk-Bones brands to become the second largest company in the pet industry.

2008

Del Monte Divests Starkist Seafood Business -- Del Monte sells its seafood business, including Starkist, to Dongwon Industries Co., Ltd. for approximately $359 million.

2011

On March 8, 2011, Del Monte was acquired by an investor group led by funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Capital, L.P.

2012

Company Profile -- Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest producers, distributors and marketers of premium quality, branded pet products and food products for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $3.7 billion in net sales in fiscal 2011. With a powerful portfolio of brands, Del Monte products are found in eight out of ten U.S. households. Pet food and pet snacks brands include Meow Mix, Kibbles 'n Bits, Milk-Bone, 9Lives, Pup-Peroni, Gravy Train, Nature's Recipe, Canine Carry Outs, Milo's Kitchen and other brand names. Food product brands include Del Monte, Contadina, S&W, College Inn and other brand names. The Company also produces and distributes private label pet products and food products. For more information on Del Monte Foods, visit the Company's website at www.delmontefoods.com.

More Information

A nice interactive history of Del Monte Foods' on their corporate web page.

Del Monte Foods entry at Wikipedia)

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