Monday, August 14, 2023

ConAgra Brands' History

ConAgra Brands, Inc. engages in the manufacturing and distribution of processed and packaged foods. Its operations are divided into distinct segments: Grocery and Snacks, Refrigerated and Frozen, International, and Foodservice.

Established in 1919 by Alva Kinney and Frank Little, ConAgra initially focused its activities on operating four-grain factories within the Nebraska Complex (NCM), with its headquarters situated in Grand Island, Nebraska. In 1922, Kinney expanded the company's scope by establishing a mill in Omaha, prompting the relocation of its headquarters to Omaha in the same year.

The company sustained profitability until 1936, when Kinney retired. By 1940, the company had initiated flour production in its own mill and subsequently entered the livestock feed sector in 1942. Under the leadership of president R.S. Dickinson during the same year, ConAgra established its inaugural facility outside of its home state, in Alabama, which included a flour mill and animal feed plant.

Originally named Nebraska Consolidated Mills, the company underwent a rebranding in 1971, adopting the name ConAgra. However, the 1970s brought considerable challenges, as the company encountered financial difficulties arising from unsuccessful expansions into the fertilizer, catfish, and pet product industries. Additionally, speculation on commodities adversely affected the company's profit margins on raw foods during this era. In 1974, C. Michael “Mike” Harper assumed leadership, utilizing his extensive experience in the food industry to rescue ConAgra from the verge of bankruptcy.

In 1980, ConAgra embarked on a notable endeavor by acquiring more than 100 prepared food brands, with a strategic focus on the frozen food and packaged meat sectors. This trend of acquisitions persisted over the following two decades.

In 2016, the company made a major announcement: the relocation of its headquarters from ConAgra Foods to Chicago, accompanied by a change in name to ConAgra Brands.

ConAgra Brands proudly possesses a varied portfolio of consumer brands, encompassing well-known labels such as Hunt’s tomato products, Healthy Choice, Banquet, Armour, Bumble Bee, Louis Kemp, La Choy, Wesson, Country Pride, Blue Bonnet, Parkay, Marie Callender’s, Cook’s, Swift Premium, Butterball, Slim Jim, Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM Cooking Spray, Van Camp’s, Peter Pan, and Swiss Miss.
ConAgra Brands' History