Pinnacle Foods Group LLC started in 1998 from its original name Vlasic Foods International. The company has achieved growth and expansion by acquiring popular brands and then expanding these brand lines through the addition of new products.
Since the company started, it was able to acquire several businesses which included Swanson TV Dinners, Vlasic Pickles (originally from Campbell Soup Company) and Open Pit.
The company then bought Aurora Foods in 2003. This acquirement was instrumental to Pinnacle Foods’ expansion process.
Aurora Foods was originally started by Ian Wilson who then used it to buy Van de Kamp’s brand from Pillsbury. Several other brands were also acquired by Aurora Foods over the years. These brands were already well known brands that were doing well in the market. However, the parent companies no longer wanted to include those in their main marketing focus and thus the reason for their being sold to a different company. With Pinnacle’s acquisition of Aurora Foods came the legal right to distribute and market those popular brands.
Among the popular brands acquired by Pinnacle Foods through Aurora Foods include Armour, which it got from Dial Corporation; Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfasts, which it got from Quaker Oats (although the name is still licensed under Quaker Oats); Duncan Hines which it got from Procter and Gamble in 1997; Lender’s Bagels which it got from Kraft Foods in 1999. Still other well-known brands acquired by the company are Mrs. Butterworth’s, which it got from Unilever and Hungry-Man and Swanson frozen dinners, which it got from the Campbell Soup Company.
In April of 2007, The Blackstone Group, a private equity group which is based in New York, acquired Pinnacle Foods Group LLC. The company was furthered strengthened when it was able to buy Bird’s Eye Foods, Inc., which allowed Pinnacle Foods to include a line of frozen foods and specialty brands to the line of popular brands that they are already known for. Some of Birds Eye’s well-known brands include Bernstein’s, Comstock Wilderness, Freshlike, Husman’s, Nalley, Steamfresh, Voila! and Tim’s Cascade Snacks.
Company headquarters: Mountain Lakes, New Jersey
Ownership: The Blackstone Group (2007)
Revenue: $2.44 billion (2010)
No. of Employees: around 4,000
Manufacturing: 7 facilities in the USA
Geography: North America
Demography: young and old, natural and organic, quality
Armour, Breakfast, Birds Eye Voila!, Celeste, Duncan Hines, Husman’s, Mrs Paul’s, Log Cabin, Open Pit, Tim’s Cascade Snacks, Vlasic, Aunt Jemima, Birds Eye, C&W, Comstock-Wilderness, Hungry-Man, Lender’s, Mrs. Butterworth’s, Nalley, Snyder, Van de Kamp’s