JBSS’s history began in 1922 when it was founded by father and son team Gaspare and John Sanfilippo as a small store that shelled pecans. Seven years later, the first Sanfilippo plant was built in Chicago.
In 1959, JBSS moved to a larger facility in Chicago. It was then that the company started to diversify its operations and started processing other types of nuts and developing new products. Nine years later, JBSS got its first customer for private label products. That same year, the company’s oil-roasting and pecan-shelling operations were moved to Des Plaines, Illinois.
In 1974, the company was able to acquire the brand Evon’s®. This also marked the company’s entrance into the retail market. From 1980 to 1981, the company focused on becoming a complete-line nut supplier to its customers. During that time, it also completed a new production facility and corporate office in the area of Elk Grove Village.
In 1985, JBSS completed its acquisition of Midwest Nut and Seed Company. At the same time, it also entered in the bulk food industry. From 1986 to 1987, a new shelling, blanching and processing plant was constructed in the area of Bainbridge, Georgia. From 1990 to 1991, JBSS focused on its global market expansion. In the same period, the company also became public.
In the next three years, JBSS acquired several peanut processing companies, including Crane Walnut and Sunshine Nut Company. Also, the company constructed a facility in Garysburg, North Carolina. JBSS was also able to acquire the brands Fisher Nut® and Flavor Tree®. In 1996, the brand Fisher Chef’s Naturals® was recognized as the best tasting nut brand in the country. The recognition was given by the American Tasting Institute®.
In 2000, JBSS’ Fisher went into a partnership with the Chicago Cubs® and became the official peanut brand sold at Wrigley Field. In 2002 and 2003, the company launched new products under the Fisher label, Nature’s Nut Mix and Family Cans. In 2004, Fisher started a nationwide campaign to promote the health advantages of nuts. In relation to the campaign, the company introduced organic and unflavored nuts. The products were promoted as ideal for sprinkling over salads and other foods.
In 2006, Fisher launched its Fusions® and Natural Snacks line. Two years later, it launched its line of salad toppings, the Culinary Touch®. In 2009, the company launched more than twenty new products under the Fisher label. A year later, JBSS was able to acquire Orchard Valley Harvest.
Currently, the company processes and markets a variety of retail nut products, as well as raw nuts.
• Headquarters: Elgin, Illinois
• Ownership Type: Public
• No. of Employees: 1,350 (March 2011)
• Geography: USA
• Demography: nut product consumers
Fisher®, Sunshine Country®, Orchard Valley Harvest®. The company also processes nuts for its customers’ private labels.