David Thompson and Harry Solomon founded Premier Foods in 1975. Originally, the company was named as Hillsdown Holdings, but over the years was changed to Premier Foods.
In 1981, Hillsdown Holdings was able to acquire canned foods company Lockwood Foods. Five years after, it was able to acquire several of Beechams’ food businesses. In 1990, the company acquired Premier Brands, including Cadbury’s drinks and Typhoo.
In 1999, a private equity firm acquired Premier Foods. Three years later, Premier Foods acquired Nestlé’s ambient food business. In 2003, it was able to acquire Unilever’s Brown and Polson, as well as Ambrosia brands.
In 2004, the company was listed as Public on the London Stock Exchange. In 2005, Premier Foods acquired Angel Delight and Bird’s Custard from Kraft Foods. In the same year, the company also acquired Marlow Foods and Cauldron, and sold Typhoo Tea to Apeejay Surrendra Group.
Also in 2005, Premier Foods introduced Branston® Baked Beans to the UK market. In 2006, the company was able to purchase Campbell’s Ireland and UK businesses. Brands that were included in this acquisition are Batchelors, Oxo, Fray Bentos and Homepride. In March of 2007, Premier Foods completed its acquisition of rival company RHM.
In 2009, Premier Foods sold Sofrapain, Le Pain Croustillant and Martine Specialties. In 2010, the company divested itself of some of its Irish brands, such as Goodalls and YR. In July of 2011, Premier Foods also divested itself of its East Anglian operations of canned grocery.
Currently, Premier Foods operates in three divisions: grocery, chilled products, which are retailer branded and Hovis. Its grocery division markets both branded products and its own retail branded products. These products include cakes, vegetables, gravies, ambient desserts, cooking sauces, pickles, soups, stocks, spreads, home baking, Asian meals, and beverages. Its Hovis division sells bread, flour products, morning goods and pizza bases (frozen). Its retail brands division is engaged in the production of chilled ready-to-serve meals and chilled cakes.
Headquarters: St. Albans,England
Ownership Type: Public
Employees: 14,564 (as of June 2011)
Demography: Food consumers
Some of the company’s top brands are Hovis®, Ambrosia®, aah Bisto®, Loyd Grossman®, Branston®, Mr. Kipling®, Sharwoods®, Hartley’s®, Batchelors®, Oxo®