Sun-Maid Growers is a cooperative owned company originally engaged in the production of the popular Sun-Maid raisins. Over time, the company has expanded its products and services by entering into the manufacture of food service and industrial products for worldwide distribution.
Sun-Maid’s history began with the formation of the California Associated Raisin Company in 1912. The company was formed by California raisin growers who wanted to form a cooperative business to market their products.
In 1915, the company launched the Sun-Maid brand and, in the same year, company executives were able to find the company’s perfect model for their label in the person of Lorraine Collett Petersen. Three years later, the company’s facilities were becoming inadequate in producing the required products to supply the growing demand for raisins and so the management decided to open a new facility near the heart of Fresno, California.
In 1964, the company continued to improve its business by modernizing its processes and by putting up a new manufacturing facility at Kingsburg. This new manufacturing facility later became the country’s top new manufacturing plant and was featured in Factory Magazine that year.
By the year 2000, the company launched its first collectible item, the Sun-Maid doll. A year after, the Sun-Maid recipe booklet for children came out. The booklet was designed to encourage kids to have fun while learning how to cook and was shaped like a raisin cookie. In 2002, Sun-Maid again introduced another cookbook, this time one that emphasized innovative recipes and nutritional advice.
In 2004, the company introduced its reusable, reclosing plastic can. This type of packaging was first introduced in Europe and was considered to be dishwasher safe, as well as microwaveable. A year after, the company again launched a new recipe booklet, one that was co-published with cookbook publisher Gooseberry Patch.
Today, Sun-Maid still continues to produce premium-quality dried fruits and distributes them to the United States and other parts of the world. It has expanded its product line to include production of custom-tailored raisins, raisin paste and raisin concentrate, all for industrial companies to use. It has also been supplying foodservice operators with premium quality dried fruits and raisins. Currently, Sun-Maid products are distributed to more than 60 countries worldwide.
Headquarters: Kingsburg, California
Ownership Type: Private
No. of Employees: 550
Demography: foodservice operators, commercial dried fruit consumers