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Conagra Marks 100 Years in Food Industry

September 9, 2019
Image courtesy of Conagra Brands
Image courtesy of Conagra Brands

North American branded food company Conagra Brands is marking the 100thanniversary of the company’s entry into the food industry during the month of September by sharing some of the history of its food brands and launching a campaign for Conagra employees to give back to the communities the business has a presence in. 

“Our journey started 100 years ago in Nebraska and continues today as we strive to deliver exceptional value for all of our stakeholders – our investors, employees, shareholders, customers and communities,” Conagra’s president and chief executive officer, Sean Connolly, said in a Sept. 5 company press release. “The Conagra Brands of today is much different than the past. But as we’ve embraced change over the last century, we’ve never forgotten our entrepreneurial roots and the people who helped build Conagra into the business it is now.”

As part of the celebration of the anniversary, the company is rolling out the “100 Years, 100 Actions” campaign this September, in which workers are encouraged to perform a small or large positive action that benefits a community. Participating staff will share their experiences using the hashtag #Conagra100 on social media. 

The company is also seeking to highlight some of the history of its food brands and their founders this month, the company’s release said: 

Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP: Husband and wife entrepreneurs Dan and Angie Bastian popped kettle corn in their Mankato, MN garage to teach their kids the value of hard work and have a little fun along the way. They also wanted a snack they felt good about feeding their family. Today the brand features hugely flavorful snacks made with real, simple ingredients. 

Birds Eye: Inspired by fishers flash-freezing their catches under arctic temperatures, Clarence Birdseye received a U.S. patent for his quick freeze machine in 1927, ushering in the era of frozen food. Now, the brand combines "delicious" and "healthy" with vegetable meals and sides that offer convenience and variety. 

Duncan Hines: Travelling salesman Duncan Hines crafted "Adventures In Good Eating" guides which became staples of mid-20th century road trips. In 1952, Hines and business partner Roy Park brought over 250 food products to market under the Duncan Hines label. The current line of cake and brownie mixes and Perfect Size for 1 sweet treats carry on Hines' appetite for baking.

Frontera: Chef Rick Bayless opened Frontera Grill, his first restaurant, in 1987. He launched Frontera Foods almost a decade later. Rick continues to inspire and guide the brand's mission: To bring the culinary richness of Mexico to kitchens everywhere, so all of us can create authentic flavorful food that brings people together and connects them with the bold taste and spirit of Mexico. 

Healthy Choice: When former Conagra CEO Mike Harper suffered a heart attack in 1985, he began seeking healthier diet alternatives. This led to his idea for a line of delicious and healthy frozen foods that would make it easier for people to live a healthier lifestyle. 

Hunt's: Joseph and William Hunt's mother taught them how to preserve the quality and taste of fruits and vegetables through canning, and in 1888, they started the Hunt Brothers Fruit Packing Company in California. Today, Hunt's tomatoes are picked at the peak of ripeness and canned within hours in Oakdale, CA.

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