Del Monte Foods

Not to be confused with Fresh Del Monte Produce.
Del Monte Foods
Industry Processed food
Founded 1886
Headquarters 3003 Oak Road
Walnut Creek, California, United States
Area served
United States, Canada, South America, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent
Key people
Nils Lommerin (CEO)
Products Canned fruit, canned vegetables, broth, sauce, fruit cups, and others.
Owner Del Monte Pacific Limited[1]
Number of employees
7,800 (FY 2015)

Del Monte Foods, Inc, (trading as Del Monte Foods), is a North American food production and distribution company headquartered at 3003 Oak Road, Walnut Creek, California, USA.[2] Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest producers, distributors and marketers of branded processed food for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $1.8 billion of annual sales. Its portfolio of brands includes Del Monte, S&W, Contadina, College Inn, Fruit Burst. Nils Lommerin, is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Del Monte Foods.[3] Several Del Monte products hold the number one or two market share position.[4] The company also produces, distributes and markets private label food. In 2014, Del Monte Foods, Inc., along with its brands Del Monte, S&W, Contadina, College Inn, Fruit Naturals, Orchard Select and SunFresh was acquired by the Filipino multinational food and beverage company Del Monte Pacific Limited in an acquisition deal that cost US$1.67 billion.[5] Assets that are under Del Monte Foods, Inc. but was not part of the deal will continue to operate as a separate company under the name Big Heart Pet Brands, Inc.[6][7]


In the 1870s and 1880s, California became a major producer of fruits and vegetables. In 1886, the Del Monte name premiered, originally used in the 1880s by an Oakland, California, foods distributor to designate a premium blend of coffee prepared for the Hotel Del Monte on the Monterey Peninsula. By 1892, the Del Monte brand was introduced when the firm expanded its business and selected Del Monte as the brand name for its new line of canned peaches. In 1898, the California Fruit Canners Association (CFCA) formed when 18 West Coast canning companies merged.[8] The Del Monte brand was one of several brands marketed by the new company. It introduced the Del Monte Shield in 1909.[9]

Under the leadership of George Newell Armsby, in 1916 CFCA added two more canners and a food brokerage house, incorporated itself as California Packing Corporation, or Calpak, and began marketing its products under the Del Monte brand. The new company grew to operate more than 60 canneries in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Alaska. In 1917, it acquired pineapple farms and a cannery in Hawaii and, in the 1920s, added canneries in Florida and the Midwest, as well as in the Philippines. After WWII, it constructed or purchased more facilities overseas.[10] These multinational operations made the name California Packing Corporation obsolete, and in June 1967, the corporation adopted the name of its leading brand to become Del Monte Corporation.[11]

In 1972, Del Monte became the first major US food processor to voluntarily adopt nutritional labeling on all its food products, an innovation that made headlines throughout the country and applauded by government officials as a breakthrough in consumer education.

Del Monte became part of R.J. Reynolds Industries, Inc. (later RJR Nabisco, Inc.) in 1979. After being acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1988, RJR Nabisco sold several Del Monte divisions. The fresh fruit business was sold to Polly Peck.[12] RJR Nabisco retained Del Monte Canada and Venezuela. The remaining food processing divisions, known as Del Monte Foods, were sold to Merrill Lynch, Citicorp Venture Capitol, and Kikkoman in 1989. Kikkoman separately acquired Del Monte brand in Asia (excluding Philippines, the Indian subcontinent and Myanmar). In 1990, the European division was subject to a management buyout and Hawaiian Punch was sold to Procter & Gamble.[13][14] Del Monte sold part of its Philippines division in 1991 and the remainder in 1996.[15] In 1993, Del Monte's dried fruit division was sold to Yorkshire Food Group.[16] In 1996, Del Monte sold its pudding division to Kraft.[17] In 1996, Del Monte Mexico was sold to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst; the Central American and Caribbean operations were also sold.[18][19] Texas Pacific Group acquired Del Monte in 1997.[20] Del Monte acquired Contadina from Nestlé in 1997 and reacquired Del Monte Venezuela from Nabisco in 1998.[21][22] Del Monte Foods again became a publicly traded company in 1999, and in 2002, it purchased several brands from US food giant Heinz in an all-stock transaction that left Heinz shareholders with 74.5% of Del Monte and original Del Monte shareholders with 25.5% of the company, and nearly tripled Del Monte Foods' size.[23] Del Monte subsequently established an East Coast headquarters in Pittsburgh, home of Heinz, in a building which sits on a portion of the site of Three Rivers Stadium.

Del Monte acquired the worldwide rights to the SunFresh brand, a brand of premium citrus and tropical fruits, in 2000.[9] In March of the following year, it acquired the worldwide rights to the S&W brand of processed fruit, vegetable, tomato and specialty sauce products.[24]

On September 28, 2004, the site of Del Monte's former Plant No. 1 in San Francisco was dedicated as Del Monte Square. It was once the world’s largest fruit and vegetable cannery.

In 2006, Del Monte became the second largest pet foods company upon divesting its US infant feeding business and US retail private label soup and gravy businesses and acquiring two key pet brands. The company sold its Soup and Infant Feeding business in April 2006 to TreeHouse Foods, Inc.[25] Del Monte bought Meow Mix in May 2006,[26] and acquired Milk-Bone in July of that year from Kraft Foods.[27] Also in 2006, Del Monte sold the S&W bean line to Faribault Foods.[28]

As precautionary measure, in 2007 Del Monte declared a voluntarily recall of several of brands of its pet foods due to the 2007 pet food recalls.[29]

In June 2008, Del Monte announced the sale of its seafood division, StarKist, to South Korea-based Dongwon Enterprise Company. Dongwon purchased the business for $363 million. Del Monte stated that StarKist was no longer a good fit for the company and that they would be concentrating on pet food and higher margin produce.[30]

On March 8, 2011, the company announced it had been acquired by an investor group led by funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and with PediaBears Wholesome Foods, Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners. The stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange prior to the start of trading on March 9, 2011.[31]

On February 19, 2014, Philippines-based food producer Del Monte Pacific Limited completed the purchase of Del Monte's consumer food business, for US$1.675 billion.[32] The remaining company consisted of the pet food division and was renamed Big Heart Pet Brands.[33]

Del Monte Foods worldwide

Del Monte Foods plant
Del Monte Foods' Pittsburgh headquarters. Del Monte shares the building with Root Sports Pittsburgh and the headquarters of former Del Monte subsidy StarKist Tuna.
The Del Monte/NutriAsia Headquarters in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Del Monte Foods markets packaged food products under the Del Monte brand in the United States and South America.

Kikkoman acquired Del Monte Asia in 1989.

The Del Monte brand in Canada was retained by Nabisco when the rest of the business was sold. Nabisco merged with Kraft in 2000. In 2006 Kraft sold Del Monte and other underperforming assets to Sun Capital Partners and EG Capital.[34] ConAgra Foods acquired Del Monte Canada in 2012.[35]

Del Monte's Central American and Caribbean operations were sold to local investors in 1996.[19]

Del Monte Europe (including African operations) was subject to a management buyout in 1990 and renamed Del Monte International. Cirio acquired Del Monte International in 2001.[36] After Cirio's bankruptcy, Del Monte Europe was acquired by Fresh Del Monte Produce.[37]

Del Monte in India is produced by FieldFresh, a joint venture of Del Monte Pacific and Bharti Enterprises.[38]

In 1996, Del Monte Mexico was sold to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst.[18] It later became part of Hicks Muse holding International Home Foods, which was acquired by ConAgra Foods in 2000.

Del Monte sold stakes in Del Monte Philippines to Kikkoman and Del Monte International in 1991. In 1996 Del Monte and Kikkoman sold their stakes and Del Monte International and Macondray & Co., Inc. (owned by the Lorenzo family) became joint owners. Del Monte Pacific became the parent company and became publicly traded in 1999. Cirio acquired Del Monte International in 2001. In 2005, Macondray and Cirio sold their controlling stakes in Del Monte Pacific to NutriAsia, maker of Mang Tomas and controlled by the Campos family and San Miguel Corporation.[36][39] In 2014, Del Monte Pacific acquired Del Monte Foods.

The Del Monte brand in South America was retained by Nabisco when the rest of the business was sold. Del Monte Foods reacquired Del Monte South America from Nabisco in 1998.[22]

Fresh Del Monte Produce was created in 1989 when RJR Nabisco sold the fresh fruit division of Del Monte Foods to Polly Peck.[12] Mohammed Abu-Ghazaleh purchased Fresh Del Monte in 1996.[40] The company went public in 1997.[41]

Del Monte Dried Fruit was sold to Yorkshire Food Group in 1993. Yorkshire's US division became Premier Valley Foods. Premier Valley Foods was sold to a group led by Brent Enterprises in 2003.[42]

Criticism and controversy

In 2001, Del Monte obtained a favorable judgment in the case Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. v. Dole Food Co. where the court held that Dole Foods had misappropriated Del Monte's trade secret when Dole Foods obtained Del Monte's specially bred pineapple through non-legal means.

In January 2007, Del Monte Foods was accused of opposing efforts by the United States Congress to apply the continental minimum wage to the lower-paying tuna packing plants in American Samoa. On January 16, 2007, Melissa Murphy Brown, spokesperson for Del Monte, stated that the application would "severely cripple the local economy." She also stated that "For over 50 years, the Federal Department of Labor has provided that wages in U.S. territories, including American Samoa, be set by a federally appointed wage board, following public hearings".[43]

Pop culture references

Del Monte Foods products

Consumer brands


See also


  1. C. O. Sison, Ignacio (August 13, 2015). SEC Form 17-A (Report). Philippine Stock Exchange.
  2. "Company Fact Sheet." Archive
  3. "Nils Lommerin: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek".
  4. "Investor Fact Sheet". Del Monte Foods. September 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  5. C. Dumlao, Doris (February 19, 2014). "Campos group completes $1.67B buyout of Del Monte's US business". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  6. D. Oravecs, John (February 19, 2014). "Del Monte changes name to Big Heart Pet Brands as sale completed". TribLive.
  7. "Del Monte Pacific acquires Del Monte canned food business". The Packer. February 19, 2014.
  8. "The Corporation". History San Jose. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  9. 1 2 "Our History". Del Monte Foods. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  10. William Braznell (1982). California's finest: The history of the Del Monte Corporation and the Del Monte brand. San Francisco: Del Monte Corp.
  11. Chris Carlsson. "Del Monte Foods". San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  12. 1 2 "British Conglomerate to Buy Part of Del Monte From RJR". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 1989-09-08. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  13. "COMPANY NEWS - Del Monte Buyout -". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  14. "Del Monte Selling Hawaiian Punch to Proctor & Gamble - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  15. Hawkins, Richard A. (2011-11-15). A Pacific Industry: The History of Pineapple Canning in Hawaii. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781848855960.
  16. "Del Monte buy bears fruit for Yorkshire - Sport - The Independent". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  17. "Kraft Reaches For Shelf To Sweeten Its Pudding Line - Chicago Tribune". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  18. 1 2 "HICKS, MUSE ACQUIRES DEL MONTE UNIT IN MEXICO". The New York Times. 1996-10-31. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  19. 1 2 "DEL MONTE FOODS CO - S-4/A - 19980320 - PROPERTIES". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  20. Times Staff: Wire Reports (1997-03-01). "Investor Group to Buy Del Monte Foods". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  21. News, Bloomberg (1997-11-15). "Del Monte to Buy Contadina Line From Nestle". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  22. 1 2 "Nabisco to Sell Del Monte Business in Venezuela". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  23. "Del Monte absorbs Heinz brands". 14 June 2002. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  24. "A Fine Recipe". S&W Fine Foods. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  25. "Del Monte Foods Completes Sale of Private Label Soup and Infant Feeding Businesses to TreeHouse Foods, Inc." (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 24 April 2006.
  26. "Del Monte Foods Completes Meow Mix Acquisition" (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 19 May 2006.
  27. "Del Monte Foods Completes Acquisition of Milk-Bone". Del Monte Foods. 3 July 2006. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  28. "Faribault Foods acquires S&W brand from Del Monte - Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  29. "Del Monte Pet Products Voluntarily Withdraws Specific Product Codes of Pet Treats and Wet Dog Food Products" (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 31 March 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  30. "Del Monte sells seafood unit to Korea's Dongwon". USA Today. USA 30 June 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  31. "Welcome to the Del Monte Foods Investor Relations section of" (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  32. "Del Monte Pacific completes acquisition of Del Monte Corp. for $1.675B". GMA News Online. 2014-02-20.
  33. Lindeman, Teresa F. (2014-02-19). "Del Monte Foods pet products division gets new name". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  34. "Kraft Canada sells grocery assets to Sun Capital Partners and EG Capital Group". AltAssets Private Equity News. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  35. "Sun Capital Partners, Inc. - Affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. Sells Del Monte Canada to ConAgra Foods".
  36. 1 2 "Welcome to Del Monte - About Us - Milestones". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  37. "COMPANY NEWS; FRESH DEL MONTE TO BUY DEL MONTE FOODS EUROPE". The New York Times. 2004-07-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  38. Reporter, Staff (2010-11-02). "Bharti unveils FieldFresh in joint venture with Del Monte". The Hindu. Hosur. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  39. "SMC, Campos team up to acquire Del Monte". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  40. "Arabian Business Power 500 2013 -". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  41. "Fresh Del Monte Sells 16 Million Shares At $16 - Orlando Sentinel". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  42. "Dried fruits. (Markets). - The Food Institute Report". Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  43. "Pelosi moves to close Samoa wage loophole". The Washington Times. 13 January 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  44. Paul Archived October 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
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