Company history timeline

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1861

Van Camp's® Pork and Beans feed America.

  • Indianapolis grocer Gilbert C. Van Camp creates a new canned food product — pork and beans. Gilbert's son, Frank, discovers that pork and beans taste better when mixed with tomatoes and served hot. By 1909, Van Camp’s is the No. 1-selling pork and beans brand in the United States.

1867

State Central Flouring Mill is formed.

  • Nebraska becomes a state, with flour milling as its leading industry. Henry Koenig and Frederick Wiebe build the first steam-powered grain mill in Grand Island and form State Central Flouring Mill. The business is later sold to Henry Glade and renamed Henry Glade Milling Company.

1890

Hunt Brothers Fruit Packing Company is incorporated.

  • Joseph and William Hunt incorporate as Hunt Brothers Fruit Packing Company in Santa Rosa, California. Today, Hunt's® products are best-sellers. No wonder they say: "Only the best tomatoes grow up to be Hunt's."

1899

David Wesson revolutionizes the cooking-oil industry.

  • Chemist David Wesson introduces a new method for processing cottonseed oil. His vacuum and high-temperature process revolutionizes the cooking-oil industry. Today, Wesson® is one of America's most trusted all-natural cooking-oil brands.

1905

Hebrew National® helps make NYC delis famous.

  • The Hebrew National Kosher Sausage Factory, located in a six-story walk-up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, begins processing kosher meats for New York delis. Over the years, Hebrew National has become synonymous with high-quality kosher products, premium ingredients and premium taste. Its slogan — "We answer to a higher authority" — has been recognized by “Advertising Week” as one of the top brand slogans.

1919

Nebraska Consolidated Mills forms.

  • Four Nebraska flour mills (Henry Glade Milling Company, Ravenna Mills, Hastings Mills and Blackburn-Furry Mill) consolidate and incorporate as Nebraska Consolidated Mills (NCM), headquartered in Grand Island, Neb.

1920

The Knotts open their first farm stand.

  • Walter and Cordelia Knott open their first farm stand in Southern California to sell berries and preserves. In 1946, they launch their first production facility. Today, Knott's Berry Farm® is known for its premium preserves, jellies and syrups.

La Choy® is born.

  • University of Michigan alums Ilhan New and Wally Smith sell canned bean sprouts at a Detroit grocery. Today, La Choy is the top-selling Asian shelf-stable brand.

Peter Pan® Peanut Butter begins production.

  • Peter Pan Peanut Butter is launched. Today, Peter Pan is one of the top-selling peanut butter brands in the United States. Kids love it, and parents feel good about serving it.

1926

David Der Herbedian begins roasting sunflower seeds.

  • David Der Herbedian roasts sunflower seeds in his Fresno, Calif., grocery and sells them in bundles for a nickel. Today, DAVID® Seeds is the No. 1 sunflower seed brand in the United States and a choice snack for Major League Baseball® players, such as Derek Jeter, formerly of the New York Yankees.

1929

Chef Boyardee® is born.

  • Hector Boiardi, an Italian immigrant and chef at a restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, is repeatedly asked by customers for jars of his pasta sauce to take home. Boiardi obliges, and later adds pasta and other ingredients to complete his trademark dish. Today, Chef Boyardee is the No. 1-selling canned pasta. (And, yes, that's Hector on the label.)

1937

Parkay® margarine hits the stands.

  • Parkay margarine is introduced in 1937. In 1973, Parkay launches what will become the famous TV ads featuring the talking package. ("The label says 'Parkay,' the flavor says butter.")

1941

NCM expands.

  • In the first NCM expansion outside Nebraska, a new flour mill is built in Decatur, Ala.

1948

A St. Louis inventor creates Reddi-wip®.

  • Aaron "Bunny" Lapin, a St. Louis inventor, develops a special aerosol valve and creates Reddi-wip real whipped cream. Originally distributed by St. Louis milkmen, Reddi-wip becomes an overnight success. The brand goes national in 1954. In 1998, Reddi-wip makes “Time” magazine's list of the 100 greatest consumer products.

The Callenders deliver homemade pies.

  • Marie Callender and her family deliver homemade pies to local restaurants from a little shop in Long Beach, Calif. Eventually, Marie opens her own restaurants and launches the Marie Callender's® frozen food line.

1955

Banquet® frozen dinners hit store shelves.

  • For 50 years, Banquet has made the familiar foods families love. In the 1970s, Banquet introduced several fried chicken offerings. Most recently, Banquet launched Homestyle Bakes and Dessert Bakes. In 2004, Banquet revolutionized convenient, family-style cooking with the introduction of Banquet Crock-Pot Classics®.

1957

NCM's first overseas expansion.

  • The first expansion of NCM outside the continental United States begins with the construction of the Molinos de Puerto Rico feed, flour and corn-milling complex.

1960

Gil Lamb changes the potato industry with a water gun innovation.

  • Gil Lamb invents and patents the Lamb Water Gun Knife, which is now the industry norm in today's global potato industry.

1965

NCM begins a joint venture in Spain.

  • NCM begins a joint venture feed mill in La Coruña, Spain, to mark its first entry into Europe.

1966

Crunch 'n Munch® debuts.

  • Crunch 'n Munch is introduced in 1966 and is still crunchin' today. In fact, if you stacked all the boxes of Crunch 'n Munch that have been consumed to date, they would be the height of 18,162 Empire State Buildings.

1969

NCM operations span the United States.

  • With the purchase of Montana Flour Mills Company, NCM flour-milling operations span the United States.

NCM turns 50.

  • Flour is still king and provides 40 percent of total sales. Feed and poultry account for 24 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

1970

Orville Redenbacher launches his company.

  • Orville Redenbacher launches his company, which will sell the lighter, fluffier popcorn kernel he developed in 1965.

1971

ConAgra® is born: NCM becomes ConAgra, Inc.

  • Nebraska Consolidated Mills changes its name to ConAgra, Inc. The company is 4,105 employees strong, with locations in 13 states, Puerto Rico and Spain.

1974

Mike Harper becomes the first CEO of ConAgra.

  • Throughout his career at ConAgra, Charles M. "Mike" Harper serves as president, CEO and chairman of the board. Through acquisitions such as Banquet Frozen Foods and Armour® Foods, Harper creates one of the largest food companies in the country.

1980

ConAgra acquires Banquet.

  • ConAgra begins its entry into the frozen food business with the acquisition of Banquet Foods Company from RCA.

1982

ConAgra acquires the Peavey Company.

  • ConAgra acquires the Peavey Company and becomes the largest publicly held grain merchandiser.

1983

Lamb Weston® shapes and expands the industry with new cuts.

  • Lamb Weston expands the french fry category by innovating new cuts — Twister Fries® and CrissCut Fries® — now popular the world over.

Lamb Weston improves quality in potato processing.

  • Lamb Weston engineers improve high-speed potato processing quality with a patented Automatic Defect Removal System.

1988

ConAgra invests in the future.

  • ConAgra announces plans to build a state-of-the-art product-development laboratory and a new headquarters campus in Omaha, Neb. The company also teams up with Golden Valley Microwave Foods to acquire Lamb Weston, the leading U.S. frozen potato processor.

Healthy Choice® hits the stands.

  • When CEO Mike Harper, a self-described hot-fudge-sundae lover, suffers a mild heart attack while traveling on business in California, he realizes he needs to change his diet. So Harper begins a search for foods that satisfy his taste and his health needs. His search leads to the development of Healthy Choice.

1989

ConAgra headquarters relocates from St. Louis to Omaha.

  • The new ConAgra headquarters campus opens in Omaha, Neb. ConAgra Frozen Foods moves from St. Louis into the first completed building.

1990

ConAgra acquires Beatrice Foods, its largest acquisition.

  • ConAgra purchases Beatrice Foods, bringing to the company such brand favorites as Hunt's, La Choy, Orville Redenbacher's®, Wesson, and Swiss Miss®.

1991

Golden Valley Microwave Foods merges with ConAgra.

  • Golden Valley Microwave Foods merges with ConAgra and brings with it ACT II®, America's best-selling microwave popcorn.

1992

Lamb Weston introduces Stealth Fries®.

  • Lamb Weston introduces Stealth Fries, which hold their great taste and crispy texture longer, for greater restaurant and customer satisfaction.

1993

ConAgra acquires Hebrew National Foods.

  • ConAgra is pleased to welcome Hebrew National Foods, a century-old brand, to its family of products. With a workforce of 500 people in the United States, Hebrew National remains one of the leading kosher meat processors in the world. Best known for its beef franks, the brand also processes and distributes other premium-quality products.

Phil Fletcher is named chairman and CEO.

  • Phil Fletcher follows legendary CEO Mike Harper and is humbled by the comparison: "There's no way I'm going to be another Mike Harper," he says. "He's a size 14. I'm a 12." Modesty aside, Phil Fletcher becomes a well-respected leader and innovator in his own right.

1994

ConAgra acquires Marie Callender's.

  • ConAgra acquires the Marie Callender's brand of frozen meals and pot pies. The Marie Callender's frozen food line offers an array of home-style meals: complete dinners, one-dish classics, pot pies, family-serve meals and fruit cobblers.

ConAgra is 75 and going strong!

  • ConAgra celebrates its 75th anniversary.

1995

ConAgra acquires Knott's Berry Farm Foods.

  • ConAgra is proud to welcome Knott's Berry Farm Foods into its family of products. For 85 years, Knott's Berry Farm has been known for quality fruit products.

ConAgra acquires Van Camp's.

  • ConAgra acquires Van Camp's canned beans and Wolf® Brand Chili.

1996

ConAgra names a new CEO.

  • Bruce Rohde is named vice chairman of the board, CEO and president.

1998

ConAgra acquires Fernando's Foods Corporation.

  • ConAgra acquires Fleischmann's®, Parkay, Blue Bonnet®, Egg Beaters®, Slim Jim® and Pemmican®.

2000

ConAgra launches Feeding Children Better.

  • ConAgra partners with America's Second Harvest in the largest corporate initiative dedicated solely to solving the problem of childhood hunger in the United States.

ConAgra acquires International Home Foods.

  • ConAgra acquires Chef Boyardee, PAM® cooking spray, and Gulden's® mustard, among other beloved brands. The company also acquires Lightlife™, a company that specializes in soy-based food products.

ConAgra, Inc. becomes ConAgra Foods, Inc.

2001

ConAgra Foods integrates R&D assets.

  • ConAgra Foods establishes a new Product Quality and Development organization and begins to align and integrate the R&D assets of the company. The process culminates in the consolidation of R&D units in 2005.

Lamb Weston gives sweet potatoes a new twist.

  • Lamb Weston debuts Sweet Things® sweet potato fries.

2002

ConAgra Foods improves customer service.

  • ConAgra Foods opens its new Customer Service Center in Omaha, Neb., realigning all company customer-care assets and improving customer service.

2003

Lamb Weston is first to market with zero-grams-trans-fat products.

  • Lamb Weston becomes the first frozen-potato processor to offer products with zero grams of trans fat.

2004

ConAgra Foods launches Nucleus/SAP.

  • ConAgra Foods launches its Nucleus/SAP order-to-cash system late in the year, integrating the company's customer-facing business processes with systems managing customer transactions. All three business channels are now headquartered in Omaha, Neb.

Banquet Crock-Pot Classics is launched.

  • ConAgra Foods introduces Banquet Crock-Pot Classics — the first complete meal designed and created for Crock-Pot® slow-cooking. Banquet Crock-Pot Classics contain all of the high-quality ingredients needed for a slow-cooked meal, such as tender meats, fresh vegetables, hearty potatoes and perfectly seasoned sauces. Plus, they're ready to cook with less than five minutes of preparation.

ConAgra Food Ingredients™ launches Ultragrain®.

  • ConAgra Food Ingredients launches Ultragrain, an all-natural whole-wheat flour that combines the nutritional benefits of whole grains with a taste and texture similar to traditional refined white-flour products. Now consumers can enjoy a sweeter, milder taste — previously available only with refined white-flour products — in whole-wheat products.

2005

ConAgra Foods R&D assets are consolidated.

  • ConAgra Foods research and product development groups consolidate into a single, state-of-the-art Center for Research, Quality & Innovation on the company's campus in downtown Omaha, Neb.

Ultragrain picks up momentum.

  • Ultragrain is included in ConAgra Foods products for school lunches, including The Max® pizzas and El Extremo® burritos. It's also added to some Kid Cuisine® and Chef Boyardee products, and other companies purchase Ultragrain for inclusion in their products.

ConAgra Food Ingredients introduces Gilroy Foods® products.

  • ConAgra Food Ingredients introduces Gilroy Foods ready-to-eat, fire-roasted and grilled moisture-controlled vegetables.

ConAgra Foods Foundation sponsors its 200th Kids Cafe®.

  • ConAgra Foods Foundation sponsors its 200th Kids Cafe in collaboration with America's Second Harvest to help combat childhood hunger in America.

Gary Rodkin is named CEO.

  • Gary Rodkin is the current CEO and president of ConAgra Foods. Rodkin served as the CEO of the North America division of PepsiCo from 1995 to 2005. He is a well-known and respected figure in the food and beverage industry.

2006

ConAgra Foods refocuses its strategy.

  • ConAgra Foods refocuses its portfolio of brands and businesses to produce strong long-term results. Meat, seafood and cheese businesses such as Butterball®, Armour, Eckrich®, Swissrose® and Louis Kemp® are divested.
  • The new company vision is introduced at the ConAgra Foods first all-employee vision and strategy meeting. Part of the vision includes ConAgra Foods’ first enterprise-wide supply chain. This new organization encompasses procurement, manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and customer service.
  • Another strategy for growth is the Gold Store initiative, which focuses on driving growth by optimizing in-store conditions in three fundamental areas: distribution, shelving and placement next to companion products.

Lamb Weston launches great-tasting, better-for-you My Fries®!

  • Health-conscious adults with busy lifestyles (and other fry lovers) now have a choice in restaurant fries. My Fries deliver 100 percent on the taste and satisfaction consumers expect in their french fries, but contain 25 percent less fat* on average and zero grams of trans fat.
  • My Fries are now available in six different cuts to make it easy for restaurants to offer customers a better-for-you french fry option, in addition to its conventional fries.
    * Average reduction in fat versus conventional specialty cut fry following recommended refry and handling direction.

2007

Healthy Choice Café Steamers® are launched.

  • The new product line, Healthy Choice Café Steamers, is the first line of complete frozen meals that incorporates microwave steaming technology. Designed to maximize the individual components of an entire meal, this microwave steaming technology preserves the flavor, texture and color of each ingredient.
  • The Healthy Choice Café Steamers line utilizes a one-of-a-kind microwavable SteamCooker™ that circulates steam throughout the meal during cooking.

ConAgra Foods acquires Lincoln Snacks.

  • ConAgra Foods acquires Chicago-based Lincoln Snacks, a privately held popcorn snacks manufacturer. Lincoln Snacks priority brands include Poppycock® and Fiddle Faddle®, as well as various retailers' private-label products. These brands align with ConAgra Foods' strategy of optimizing its portfolio to continue sustainable, profitable growth.

Orville Redenbacher's launches its Natural line.

  • The Natural varieties deliver big flavor in a mini bag, giving consumers just the right amount of indulgence. The flavors add a new flair to popcorn, partnering tempting combinations of butter and garlic (Buttery Garlic), and butter, salt and cracked pepper (Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper). In addition, the salt-only (Natural Simply Salted) and reduced-fat varieties (Natural Simply Salted 50% Less Fat) allow Orville Redenbacher's gourmet popcorn flavor to shine.

ConAgra Foods acquires Alexia® Foods, Inc.

  • ConAgra Foods acquires New York-based Alexia Foods, Inc., a privately held natural food company. Alexia Foods represents the leading natural frozen potato brand and markets all-natural and organic appetizers and artisan breads. Alexia Foods' premium brands align with ConAgra Foods' strategy of optimizing its portfolio and delivering innovative products that support sustainable, profitable growth.

2008

Start Making Choices™ is launched.

  • Start Making Choices is a free program designed to help consumers achieve balance in their lives. It focuses on three universal components of a balanced life™ — nutrition, activity and well-being. The online resources and tools were developed exclusively by ConAgra Foods and Dr. James Rippe, M.D., a Harvard-trained cardiologist, author and pioneer in lifestyle medicine.
  • At StartMakingChoices.com, consumers can design a free, personalized plan for a balanced life that's easy to use! To help them keep their plan on track, consumers can download podcasts, register for newsletters, get recipe makeovers and more.

ConAgra Foods provides unprecedented nutrition labeling.

  • Simple and unique packaging enhancements were designed to help consumers make better-informed food choices to improve their diet and health. The new nutrition guide, designed by ConAgra Foods, will be featured on the packages of popular brands such as Healthy Choice, Chef Boyardee and Orville Redenbacher's.
  • The bold package graphics, which can be read and understood at a glance, are based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) MyPyramid. By following this clear and simple guide, consumers can learn how each product helps them satisfy the government's dietary recommendations.

ConAgra Foods acquires Watts Brothers.

  • ConAgra Foods acquires Kennewick, Wash.-based Watts Brothers, a privately held vegetable processing and agricultural company, to further grow and strengthen its core potato business operating under the Lamb Weston brand.

Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers™ is launched.

  • With Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, everything's in one compact container: sauce, pasta or rice, and strainer. So you can make it fresh from your desk, with no refrigeration or freezing necessary. You can find these delicious meals in the pasta or soup aisle at the grocery store.

2009

Healthy Choice brand reinvents itself.

  • Healthy Choice, the brand that created convenient, healthful eating, is completely reinvented — focusing on what people want from their food today and raising the standard for the frozen entrée category. After 20 years of delivering nutritious frozen meals, the iconic ConAgra Foods brand has been revitalized with contemporary, great-tasting recipes, including Healthy Choice All Natural Entrées.

ConAgra Foods Foundation donates $10 million to Feeding America®.

  • ConAgra Foods Foundation's $10 million commitment to Feeding America is the largest donation ever made to fight child hunger with Feeding America and will help the organization meet the needs of the more than 12 million children in America — one in six — who are at risk of hunger across the country. The $10 million grant supports new Feeding America child hunger initiatives that provide children with the nourishment needed to succeed in school and life.

ConAgra Foods reveals new branding.

  • Consumers are being let in on a secret: ConAgra Foods is the face behind the brands they've had on their shopping lists for years. The company revealed a new brand identity that highlights the tremendous appeal of its products to consumers — the brand behind the food people love. The new identity was created after research with multiple stakeholder groups, including customers, revealed a lack of association between ConAgra Foods and its popular brands. The logo itself features a new, more contemporary color palette along with a "spoon in plate" icon designed to reinforce the company's position as a leading food company. The tagline, "Food You Love," reinforces the individual company brands that consumers love.

Lamb Weston announces a state-of-the-art processing plant.

  • Lamb Weston announces plans to build a new, state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly processing plant near Delhi, La., designed primarily to process high-quality sweet potatoes from the region into fries and related products. The new plant is scheduled to open in November 2010. Sweet potatoes are one of today's hottest food trends, with per capita consumption up 21 percent in the past five years according to the USDA. A 2007 Technomic survey showed that 85 percent of the general population is favorably inclined toward sweet potatoes.

Marie Callender's Home-Style Creations™ is launched.

  • Marie Callender's is stepping out of the freezer case and onto the shelf to bring consumers the taste of a special, home-cooked meal at work with the launch of Marie Callender's Home-Style Creations. The meals utilize the same patented tray-in-tray steaming technology that is found in Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers, which creates fresh-tasting flavors and textures by separating ingredients during preparation — key to maintaining a homemade taste. These microwavable meals can be found in the pasta or soup aisle at grocery stores nationwide and require no refrigeration or freezing, making them a great workday lunch option.

ConAgra Foods pledges portfolio-wide sodium reduction.

  • ConAgra Foods pledges to reduce salt across its portfolio of food products by 20 percent by 2015. Since 2006, the company has already removed more than 2 million pounds of salt from its products. The pledge adds 8 million pounds of salt to the equation, with the company ultimately removing 10 million pounds of salt from American diets each year. The company's commitment builds on ConAgra Foods' legacy as a leader in helping consumers reduce and control sodium intake.

2010

ConAgra Foods announces five sustainability goals.

  • As part of a plan for increased environmental awareness, ConAgra Foods announces five aggressive sustainability goals to be achieved by 2015 — and for the first time, these goals will be implemented company-wide. The goals build on the company's sustainability accomplishments, which began in 1992 with the ConAgra Foods Sustainable Development Awards program.

ConAgra Foods acquires Elan Nutrition.

  • In a strategic move to expand its snacking offerings, ConAgra Foods acquires Elan Nutrition, a privately held formulator and manufacturer of snack and nutrition bars. The acquisition of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company allows ConAgra Foods to grow its private-label bar business through new product development capabilities and manufacturing capacity.

ConAgra Foods sells Gilroy Foods & Flavors®.

  • As part of the company's ongoing strategy of divesting non-core operations, ConAgra Foods sells its Gilroy Foods & Flavors dehydrated and vegetable product operations to Olam International. Divestitures such as this enable ConAgra Foods to continually improve focus on the resources behind the company's highest opportunity areas.

ConAgra Foods acquires American Pie, LLC.

  • ConAgra Foods acquires American Pie, LLC, a manufacturer of frozen dinners, desserts and more. American Pie, LLC manufactures frozen fruit pies, thaw-and-serve pies, fruit cobblers and piecrusts under the licensed Marie Callender's and Claim Jumper® names, as well as frozen dinners, pot pies and appetizers under the Claim Jumper trade name.

Brands introduce new products and expanded varieties.

  • ConAgra Foods is pleased to announce more reasons to feel good about enjoying the Food You Love. Enjoy delicious new line additions to your favorite brands, as well as recipe upgrades.
    • Healthy Choice launches a group of steaming entrées: Cafe Steamers™, All Natural Entrées™ and Select Entrées™ product lines.
    • Healthy Choice introduces three varieties of All Natural soups with just 390 milligrams of sodium per 1-cup serving.
    • Healthy Choice reduces sodium by 15 percent on its top two existing soup varieties: Chicken Noodle and Chicken with Rice.
    • Banquet launches single-serve, microwavable fruit pie desserts, as well as six varieties of frozen entrées.
    • Chef Boyardee creates three varieties of whole-grain pasta.
    • Lightlife creates Smart Cutlets® and Smart Wings®.
    • Orville Redenbacher's introduces Cheddar and Nacho Cheese varieties.
    • Marie Callender's launches Fresh Flavor Steamer™ entrées, plus a line of multi-serve meals that put a contemporary twist on comfort food.
    • Manwich® introduces its first new flavor in nearly a decade: Manwich Thick & Chunky variety.
    • Snack Pack® introduces three new pudding flavors.
    • Van Camp's creates two new flavors of baked beans.
    • Wolf Brand Chili creates a new Homestyle variety.

2011

Lamb Weston earns LEED® certification.

  • The Lamb Weston sweet potato processing facility in Delhi, La., receives the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum certification, which is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. This facility is the first frozen-food manufacturing plant worldwide to earn the LEED platinum certification, which is the highest distinction available to green buildings. The investment in the new sweet potato facility demonstrates ConAgra Foods' commitment to ongoing innovation and environmental responsibility.

ReadySetEat™ launches.

  • ReadySetEat is an online resource from ConAgra Foods. It was created to help time-strapped consumers find a "faster, smarter way to dinner." This unique website not only makes it easy for consumers to find hundreds of recipes for quick, easy dinners, but it also shows consumers where they can buy the ingredients on sale at local grocers, which saves them time and money. To ease dinnertime prep, all of the recipes on ReadySetEat take less than 30 minutes from pantry to plate, use no more than seven ingredients and only require common items that most people have on hand. Check it out today at ReadySetEat.com.

ConAgra Foods is part of the Child Hunger Ends Here® campaign.

  • With one in four American children struggling with hunger, ConAgra Foods — in partnership with Feeding America® — asks consumers to help by participating in this new initiative to fight child hunger. The Child Hunger Ends Here campaign was designed to draw attention to child hunger in the United States, and to give consumers simple ways they can help end it. For more details, please visit ChildHungerEndsHere.com.

Marie Callender's brand and National Pretzel™ Company join the ConAgra Foods family.

  • ConAgra Foods announces the purchase of the Marie Callender's brand trademarks from Marie Callender Pie Shops, Inc., which operates the Marie Callender's Restaurant and Bakery chain in the southwestern United States and in California. ConAgra Foods originally acquired a license to sell Marie Callender's frozen meals and pot pies in 1994. This transaction fits into the ConAgra Foods acquisition strategy, which seeks to add depth and strength to its existing product lines in key strategic pillars, such as convenient meals, snacks and meal enhancers.
  • In late 2011, ConAgra Foods acquires National Pretzel from Brookstone Holdings. National Pretzel makes private-label pretzels in a variety of forms, including rods, sticks, braids and twists for a variety of customers, including many of the top grocery retailers in America. Acquiring National Pretzel Company is consistent with the company’s strategies for growth, which include expanding its private-label footprint and growing in strategic adjacencies.

ConAgra Foods is recognized in the Sustainability Index.

  • ConAgra Foods announces that it has been added to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the first time. One of the world's most recognizable sustainability indexes, DJSI North America is based on a rigorous analysis of corporate, economic, environmental and social performance. It tracks the performance of the top 20 percent of the 600 largest North American companies in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index that lead the field in terms of sustainability.

    ConAgra Foods is one of four food processing companies listed on the DJSI North America. The company achieved the food industry's leading scores in corporate governance, environmental policy/management systems, human capital development and labor practice indicators.

    ConAgra Foods is committed to corporate responsibility, and its efforts have been focused under the "Good for You, Good for the Community and Good for the Planet" platform.

Brands introduce new products and expanded varieties.

  • ConAgra Foods is pleased to announce more reasons to feel good about enjoying the food you love. We're proud to offer delicious new line additions to your favorite brands, as well as recipe upgrades. Here are just a few of our brand additions from 2011:
    • Orville Redenbacher's brings new innovation to microwave popcorn. Snack-loving Americans have been enjoying the taste and convenience of microwave popcorn for decades, and now Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet® Popping Corn has created a bag that allows for easier snacking, sharing and cleanup. The Pop Up Bowl™ — the first bag-to-bowl design for Orville Redenbacher's popcorn — pops into a ready-to-serve, freestanding bowl filled with light and fluffy popcorn that is the perfect snack for the whole family.
    • Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn continues to shake up microwave popcorn by adding a flavorful twist to one of America's favorite snack foods. The leading popcorn brand introduces Orville Redenbacher's Flavor Singles, individually wrapped bags of the brand's beloved microwave popcorn that each come with a separate seasoning packet, allowing users to sprinkle on just the right amount of flavor. Choose from White Cheddar, Extra Cheese or Sea Salt & Vinegar varieties.
    • New Asian Inspired Healthy Choice Café Steamers meals include Lemongrass Chicken & Shrimp, Kung Pao Chicken, Pineapple Chicken and Beef Teriyaki. The existing All Natural Entrées product line has been updated with a one-step steaming tray to unlock a fresher taste and more vibrant flavor. The contemporary recipes include Asian Potstickers, Pumpkin Squash Ravioli, Portabella Spinach Parmesan, Three Cheese Marinara, Portabella Marsala Pasta, Tortellini Primavera Parmesan, Roasted Red Pepper Marinara, Creamy Basil Pesto and Lobster Cheese Ravioli.
    • Meeting consumer demand for new, bolder flavors, Slim Jim introduces Zesty Garlic and Jamaican Jerk to its line of meat sticks; DAVID Seeds introduces new, larger-sized jumbo seeds in Buffalo Style Ranch and Hot & Spicy varieties; and Andy Capp's® introduces new BBQ Fries and a value-delivering, multi-serve, 8-ounce Big Bag.
    • Slim Jim turns up the heat, presenting a spicy new challenge for fans of the meat stick — three new flavors in a new line of products called Slim Jim DARE™. The spiciness of the flavors escalates from Kinda Hot Chili Pepper to Freakin' Hot Jalapeño, and tops out with Really Freakin' Hot Habanero.
    • ACT II brings its most popular south-of-the-border flavors to the United States. Queso Jalapeño and Salsa Valentina™ are the newest flavors in microwave popcorn.
    • Peter Pan introduces a new line of natural peanut butter spreads. The three no-stir varieties — Natural Creamy, Natural Crunchy and Natural Honey Roast Creamy — are made with 100% natural ingredients and contain no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fat or preservatives.
    • RO*TEL® launches new Zesty Tomato & Green Chili Sauce in Original and Mild. The sauce makes it easy to add spice to any favorite recipe that includes tomato sauce — and, with such a robust and delicious flavor, it's good enough to eat with a tortilla chip, straight out of the can.
    • Egg Beaters launches new Egg Beaters Florentine, which appeals to consumers with its on-trend seasoned flavor and ingredients — including spinach, tomato, onion, mozzarella cheese and Italian herbs.

2012

Brands earn two “products of the year.”

  • In a survey of more than 50,000 American consumers conducted by global market research company TNS, Healthy Choice “Top Chef”-inspired Café Steamers and Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Bowl are selected as the best new products in the Frozen Foods and Snacks categories.
  • The Healthy Choice “Top Chef”-inspired Café Steamers line, in partnership with the Bravo hit show “Top Chef,” delivers such gourmet features as crisp vegetables, tender meats and perfectly al dente pastas — steamed to bring out the best of each ingredient.
  • Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Bowl transformed packaging in the microwave popcorn category when it began appearing on store shelves in 2011. The bag pops into a bowl in the microwave, allowing for easier snacking, sharing and cleanup while still providing the same delicious flavor. See-through sides make it easier to know when the popcorn is done popping.
  • “The Product of the Year awards that our Healthy Choice and Orville Redenbacher’s teams have received are a tribute to the creativity, passion and insight of everyone at ConAgra Foods who plays a role in the product development process,” says Al Bolles, executive vice president, Research, Quality & Innovation. “But the positive response of consumers is still the greatest endorsement we can receive.”

Sustainability results recognized.

  • More than 100 projects entered in the internal ConAgra Foods 2012 Sustainable Development Awards collectively:
    • Conserved 295 million gallons of water
    • Reduced carbon emissions by more than 43,600 metric tons
    • Eliminated 61,000 tons of landfill waste and 4,800 tons of packaging material
  • Additionally, the projects delivered more than $28 million in savings, demonstrating the economic value of the company's commitment to sustainable development.
  • ConAgra Foods started the Sustainable Development Awards in 1992 to encourage and incentivize employees to proactively look for ways to eliminate waste, reduce energy and conserve water through smart design. Winning teams are awarded a $5,000 grant from ConAgra Foods to apply toward a sustainable community service project.

    Specific 2012 award winners include:
    • Climate Change & Energy Efficiency: ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston plants in Boardman and Paterson, Wa.
    • Water Resources — Conservation & Wastewater Management: ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston plant in Hermiston, Ore.
    • Solid Waste Reduction & Recycling: ConAgra Foods plant in Marshall, Mo.
    • Sustainable Packaging, Product & Process Innovation: ConAgra Foods Packaging Development
    • Sustainable Business Practices: ConAgra Foods’ temperature-controlled facility in St. Louis, Mo.
    • Award of Excellence: ConAgra Foods’ snacks facility in Marion, Ohio

Award-winning year for ConAgra Foods

  • For leadership in corporate citizenship and product innovation and strides in sustainability, ConAgra Foods is recognized by leading food industry players in 2012.
  • Specific awards and recognition include:
    • For the second consecutive year, ConAgra Foods is listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America, and for the first time, it is listed to the Carbon Disclosure Project's Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.
    • ConAgra Foods’ Research, Quality & Innovation team is voted R&D Team of the Year for Large Organizations by FoodProcessing.com.
    • ConAgra Foods receives the Gold Edison Green Award for recognition in reducing carbon footprint for Slim Jim and Forgotten Harvest in the Edison Awards™, which for 25 years has recognized and honored some of the most innovative new products, services and business leaders in America.
    • ConAgra Foods receives the Silver Edison Award in Innovation for Orville Redenbacher’s Pop Up Bowl revolutionary bag-to-bowl design in the Edison Awards.
    • For the third consecutive year, ConAgra Foods is named among the "CR Magazine" 100 Best Corporate Citizens, known as one of the world’s top corporate responsibility rankings.

ConAgra Foods launches Listo Y Servido.

  • The Spanish-language website Listo y Servido is launched, featuring the same flavorful recipes consumers have come to love from ReadySetEat™ — but with a Latino twist!
  • Listo y Servido features about 300 delicious, quick-to-prepare recipes at launch.
  • Listo y Servido and ReadySetEat are to help time-strapped consumers find a “faster, smarter way to dinner.”
  • Check it out at ListoYServido.com!

Odom’s Tennessee Pride® acquired.

  • ConAgra Foods expands further into the breakfast food category this year with the acquisition of Odom’s Tennessee Pride — maker of roll sausage, breakfast sandwiches and more. Tennessee Pride is the second largest producer of frozen breakfast sandwiches in the United States, recognizable to millions of consumers by its iconic, cheerful, barefoot-country-boy mascot.
  • "We are excited to develop our portfolio in the growing breakfast category," says Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods.
  • Get a taste of Nashville’s finest with Odom’s breakfast sausages, breakfast sandwiches, gravy — and even appetizers. All are surefire family favorites!

Bertolli® and P.F. Chang’s® acquired.

  • ConAgra Foods expands its family of brands with the acquisition of the Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu™ frozen meals businesses.
  • Bertolli offers an authentic Italian fine dining experience — from classic risottos, meal soups, skillet dinners and more — ready in minutes, right in your home!
  • P.F. Chang’s Home Menu includes a collection of signature dishes and appetizers made with quality cuts of beef and white chicken breast, succulent shrimp, crisp colorful vegetables, tender noodles and full-flavored sauces.
  • The addition of Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu frozen meals expands ConAgra Foods’ presence in the freezer case, which includes brands such as Marie Callender’s, Banquet, Healthy Choice and Kid Cuisine.

2013

ConAgra Foods Acquires Ralcorp®

  • ConAgra Foods has acquired Ralcorp, the largest manufacturer of private label food in the U.S. Ralcorp is the leading producer of private-brand foods sold under the individual labels of various grocery, mass merchandise and drugstore retailers, and frozen bakery products to in-store bakeries, restaurants and other foodservice customers. Ralcorp's diversified product mix includes: ready-to-eat and hot cereals; nutritional and cereal bars; snack mixes, corn-based chips and extruded corn snack products; crackers and cookies; snack nuts; chocolate candy; salad dressings; mayonnaise; peanut butter; jams and jellies; syrups; sauces; frozen griddle products including pancakes, waffles, and French toast; frozen biscuits and other frozen pre-baked products such as breads and muffins; frozen and refrigerated doughs; dry pasta; and frozen pasta meals.
  • CEO Gary Rodkin states, "We are very pleased to bring Ralcorp's private brands into our portfolio. The acquisition of Ralcorp is a logical and exciting step for ConAgra Foods. Adding Ralcorp provides us with a much larger presence in the attractive and growing private label segment and accelerates our Recipe for Growth strategy. The transaction will allow us to apply our scale and combined operational expertise to this important growth area, and will strengthen our position as one of the leading food companies in North America. We believe the balanced combination of our very significant branded food business, the largest private label food business in North America, and our important commercial food businesses, will enable ConAgra Foods to deliver even greater value and innovation to our customers and consumers, and sustainable profitable growth to our shareholders."

Banquet® Brand Gets a Digital Home

  • ConAgra Foods® launches the first digital presence for Banquet brand. At Banquet.com, consumers can explore all of the delicious dishes Banquet serves up, from savory sausage links and patties to classic pot pies. They also can find recipes and all of the latest news and promotions from a brand that’s been satisfying families for more than 60 years.

ConAgra Foods® Brands Turn Out for Child Hunger Ends Here®

  • Nineteen ConAgra Foods brands participate in Child Hunger Ends Here, the company's largest cause marketing campaign to date, reaching the goal of donating 3 million meals. Over the last 20 years, ConAgra Foods has been a leader in the charge against child hunger in America with donations of more than $50 million and 328 million pounds of food.

More Facilities Receive ENERGY STAR® Certification

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards eight ConAgra Foods® facilities, from Oregon to New York, the ENERGY STAR Certification for increasing their energy efficiency. The Lamb Weston®/BSW facility in Warden, Wash., receives the recognition for the first time. ConAgra Foods facilities receiving ENERGY STAR Certification meet strict energy performance levels set by the EPA.

Sustainability Accolades for ConAgra Foods®

  • For the third year in a row, ConAgra Foods is named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. Recognized worldwide, these indices measure the performance of the world’s leaders in sustainability. Companies are included on the index based on assessments of long-term economic, environmental and social criteria.

Consumers Give Top Honors to Healthy Choice® Baked Entrées

  • Healthy Choice Baked Entrées are named a Product of the Year by the Consumer Survey of Production Innovation. The world's largest consumer-voted award for product innovation, its purpose is to guide consumers to the best products in their market, and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation. Healthy Choice Baked Entrées are prepared in a unique Even Bake tray designed to cook food evenly and deliver fresh-baked taste right from the microwave.