Chun King was an American line of canned Chinese food products founded in the 1940s by Jeno Paulucci, who also developed Jeno's Pizza Rolls and frozen pizza, and the Michelina's brand of Italian food products, among many others. By 1962, Chun King was bringing in $30 million in annual revenue and accounted for half of all U.S. sales of prepared Chinese food. Chun King was sold to Reynolds Metals Company, a division of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, in 1966 for $63 million.
R. J. Reynolds merged with Nabisco Brands in 1985 and the new company changed its name to RJR Nabisco in the following year. In 1989, Chun King was sold by RJR Nabisco to Yeo Hiap Seng of Singapore to help pay for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts's leverage buyout of RJR Nabisco. RJR Nabisco had previously sold the Chun King line of frozen foods to ConAgra Foods in 1986. After losing market share, Yeo Hiap Seng sold Chun King in 1995 to Hunt-Wesson, the owner of rival La Choy. Hunt-Wesson's parent ConAgra eventually closed Chun King's manufacturing facilities and phased out the Chun King brand.
- Jeno Paulucci, pioneer of frozen-food business, dies at 93
- "RJR Sending Chun King To Orient". Chicago Tribune, June 22, 1989.
- "Tea For Two: Battle for a Great Name and Address". Asiaweek, July 28, 1995.
- "Hunt-Wesson Acquires Chun King". Supermarket News, May 8, 1995.
- "Chun King Corp. to close plant, eliminate 173 jobs". Baltimore Sun, April 04, 1995.
- "Tidbits: Blue Parkay". Star Tribune, January 2, 2002.
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