ConAgra Foods

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ConAgra Foods is a manufacturer of packaged and processed food. It had annual sales of $13.3 Billion in 2012. Its corporate origin was in a company incorporated in 1919 as Nebraska Consolidated Mills (NCM). It was headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska and owned 4 grain mills, the first, a steam powered mill in Grand Island, dated from 1867. It addition to its grain business it has acquired a number of legacy brands such as Van Camp's Pork and Beans, first produced in 1861; Hunt's a brand of tomato products such as canned tomatoes and ketchup which originated in Santa Rosa, California in 1890; Wesson cooking oil, dating from development of a high-temperature process for processing cottonseed oil in 1899; Hebrew National, a kosher meat packer with the slogan, "We answer to a higher authority"; Knott's Berry Farm, gourmet preserves, jellies and syrups; La Choy, Asian specialty foods; Peter Pan brand peanut butter; DAVID brand sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds; Chef Boyardee brand canned pasta; Blue Bonnet brand and Parkay brand margarines; Readi-wip, whipped cream in an aerosol can; Marie Callender's frozen meals and pies; Banquet brand frozen meals and pot pies; Crunch 'n Munch; Orville Redenbacher's brand popcorn; Armour brand processed meat products; Swiss Miss brand cocoa mix; Act II microwave popcorn; Wolf brand canned chili; PAM cooking spray; Gulden's mustard; Poppycock and Fiddle Faddle brand snacks; Bertolli brand pasta [1]

In 1957 the firm expanded to Puerto Rico with the construction of a feed, flour and corn milling facility. A feed mill was constructed in Spain in 1965. In 1969, with the purchase of Montana Flour Mills, Nebraska Consolidated Mills became a national company in the United States. In 1969, however, NCM was still a flour, feed, and poultry company, despite having developed the Duncan Hines products in 1951; they were sold to Procter & Gamble). In 1971, with over 4,000 employees and operations in 13 states, Puerto Rico, and Spain, the name ConAgra was adopted. In 1982, with the acquisition of the Peavey Company, the company became the largest publicly held grain company. In 1988 a headquarters and product-development laboratory were built in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1988, following a heart attack suffered by the company's CEO, development began on Healthy Choice, a diverse line of healthier foods was developed. Also in 1988 Lamb Weston, a potato products company built by the inventor of the Lamb Water Gun Knife (a device which effectively shoots potatoes through a fire hose into a cutting knife making uniform french fries) was acquired. Beatrice Foods, Hunt's, Swiss Miss, Orville Redenbacher's, La Choy, Wesson, was acquired in 1990. In 2003 the first zero trans-fat potato products were marketed by Lamb Weston. In 2004 a palatable "white" Ultragrain brand whole-grain flour was developed and introduced into its product line in 2005. In 2007 the firm acquired Alexia, a natural foods manufacturer. In 2009 the firm began a gradual program to reduce the amount of salt in its processed foods. In 2013 Ralcorp, the leading private label manufacturer was acquired.[1]

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