Stouffer’s began in 1922 as a little coffee shop run by Abraham and Mahala Stouffer. The couple owned a farm in the township of Richfield, Ohio. Later, when their sons Gordon and Vernon took over, the coffee shop was expanded into a chain of restaurants in Detroit, New York City, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
The family started to venture into the frozen food business during the 1940s, when their customers requested take out equivalents of the food that were being offered at the restaurant. They were soon freezing the products and selling them at a nearby outlet. Between the 1950s and 1960s, Stouffer’s opened some branches in the Prudential Building in Chicago. The Prudential Building was the tallest building in the state at the time. The company’s continued addition of several branches was proof that the business was going extremely well. By 1954, the company’s kitchen could not keep up with the overwhelming demand for their products and so they put up a small processing facility to accommodate the volume. A couple of years after, Stouffer’s began selling its food products to retail stores and supermarkets.
In 1967, Stouffer’s was acquired by Litton Industries, who after six years sold the company to Nestle’. Stouffer’s then became Nestle Stouffer’s and had its main office in Solon, Ohio. In 1975, the company built a facility that was primarily used to store refrigerated products. At the time, the facility was considered to be the tallest of its kind.
In 2009, along with the opening of Nestle’s culinary Research and Development facility, the packaging of Stouffer’s products underwent a major change. Stouffer’s family-size products were now packed in paperboard trays, instead of polyethylene (PET) trays. This was done as part of Nestle’s commitment to sustainability and reduce the volume of PET materials deposited in the country’s landfills.
Recently, Stouffer’s launched its newest product to the U.S. market, the Stouffer’s® Farmers’ Harvest. This new offering is a line of classic entrees improved by the addition of more vegetables and whole wheat grains. Stouffer’s® Farmers’ Harvest is available in retail stores all over the United States.
Headquarters: Ohio, USA
Ownership Type: A subsidiary of Nestle’
Geography: USA and Canada
Demography: frozen baked meals