Del Monte Foods

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Del Monte Foods
Industry Processed food
Founded 1886
Headquarters One Maritime Plaza
San Francisco, California, United States
Area served
United States, Canada, South America, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent
Key people
Nils Lommerin
(Chief Executive Officer (CEO))
Products Canned fruit, Canned vegetables, Broth, Sauce, Fruit cups, and more.
Owner Del Monte Pacific
Number of employees
14,800 (2011)
Slogan Nourishing Families. Enriching Lives. Everyday.

The Del Monte Foods,Inc., or simply Del Monte Foods, is a North American food production and distribution company headquartered in One Maritime Plaza, San Francisco, California, USA.[1] Del Monte Foods is one of the country's largest producers, distributors and marketers of branded food for the U.S. retail market, generating approximately $1.8 billion of annual sales. Its portfolio of brands includes Del Monte, S&W, Contadina, College Inn, Fruit Burst. Nils Lommerin, is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Del Monte Foods.[2] Several Del Monte products hold the number one or two market share position.[3] The company also produces, distributes and markets private label food.


In the 1870s and 1880s, California became a major producer of fruits and vegetables. In 1886, the Del Monte name premiered, originally used in the 1880s by an Oakland, California, foods distributor to designate a premium blend of coffee prepared for the Hotel Del Monte on the Monterey Peninsula. By 1892, the Del Monte brand was introduced when the firm expanded its business and selected Del Monte as the brand name for its new line of canned peaches. In 1898, the California Fruit Canners Association (CFCA) formed when 18 West Coast canning companies merged.[4] The Del Monte brand was one of several brands marketed by the new company. It introduced the Del Monte Shield in 1909.[5]

Under the leadership of George Newell Armsby, in 1916 CFCA added two more canners and a food brokerage house, incorporated itself as California Packing Corporation, or Calpak, and began marketing its products under the Del Monte brand. The new company grew to operate more than 60 canneries in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Alaska. In 1917, it acquired pineapple farms and a cannery in Hawaii and, in the 1920s, added canneries in Florida and the Midwest, as well as in the Philippines. After WWII, it constructed or purchased more facilities overseas.[6] These multinational operations made the name California Packing Corporation obsolete, and in June 1967, the corporation adopted the name of its leading brand to become Del Monte Corporation.[7]

In 1972, Del Monte became the first major US food processor to voluntarily adopt nutritional labeling on all its food products, an innovation that made headlines throughout the country and applauded by government officials as a breakthrough in consumer education.

Del Monte became part of R.J. Reynolds Industries, Inc. (later RJR Nabisco, Inc.) in 1979. Ten years later, the fresh fruit business was sold and renamed Fresh Del Monte Produce. Although no longer affiliated with Del Monte Foods, Del Monte Produce continued to market pineapples, bananas, and other produce under a licensing agreement for the Del Monte label. RJR Nabisco sold the remaining food processing divisions, known as Del Monte Foods, to private investors in 1989. Del Monte Foods again became a publicly traded company in 1999, and in 2002, it purchased several brands from US food giant Heinz in an all-stock transaction that left Heinz shareholders with 74.5% of Del Monte and original Del Monte shareholders with 25.5% of the company, and nearly tripled Del Monte Foods' size.[8] Del Monte subsequently established an East Coast headquarters in Pittsburgh, home of Heinz, in a building which sits on a portion of the site of Three Rivers Stadium.

Del Monte acquired the worldwide rights to the SunFresh brand, a brand of premium citrus and tropical fruits, in 2000.[5] In March of the following year, it acquired the worldwide rights to the S&W brand of processed fruit, vegetable, tomato and specialty sauce products.[9]

On September 28, 2004, the site of Del Monte's former Plant No. 1 was dedicated as Del Monte Square. It was once the world’s largest fruit and vegetable cannery.

In 2006, Del Monte became the second largest pet foods company upon divesting its US infant feeding business and US retail private label soup and gravy businesses and acquiring two key pet brands. The company sold its Soup and Infant Feeding business in April 2006 to TreeHouse Foods, Inc.[10] Del Monte bought Meow Mix in May 2006,[11] and acquired Milk-Bone in July of that year from Kraft Foods.[12]

As precautionary measure, in 2007 Del Monte declared a voluntarily recall of several of brands of its pet foods due to the 2007 pet food recalls.[13]

In June 2008, Del Monte announced the sale of its seafood division, StarKist, to South Korea-based Dongwon Enterprise Company. Dongwon purchased the business for $363 million. Del Monte stated that StarKist was no longer a good fit for the company and that they would be concentrating on pet food and higher margin produce.[14]

On March 8, 2011, the company announced it had been acquired by an investor group led by funds affiliated with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Partners. The stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange prior to the start of trading on March 9, 2011.[15]

On February 19, 2014, Del Monte Pacific Limited completed the purchase of Del Monte's consumer food business, for US$1.675 billion.[16] The remaining pet food division was renamed Big Heart Pet Brands.[17]

Del Monte Foods worldwide[edit]

Del Monte Foods plant
Del Monte Foods' Pittsburgh headquarters. Del Monte shares the building with Root Sports Pittsburgh and the headquarters of former Del Monte subsidy StarKist Tuna.
The Del Monte/NutriAsia Headquarters in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Del Monte Foods markets packaged food products under the Del Monte brand in the United States and South America. Del Monte Foods is not affiliated with Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc., Del Monte International or their subsidiaries or affiliates.

The Del Monte brand in Canada is owned by ConAgra Foods.[18]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

In 2001, Del Monte obtained a favorable judgment in the case Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. v. Dole Food Co. where the court held that Dole Foods had misappropriated Del Monte's trade secret when Dole Foods obtained Del Monte's specially bred pineapple through non-legal means.

In January 2007, Del Monte Foods was accused of opposing efforts by the United States Congress to apply the continental minimum wage to the lower-paying tuna packing plants in American Samoa. On January 16, 2007, Melissa Murphy Brown, spokesperson for Del Monte, stated that the application would "severely cripple the local economy." She also stated that "For over 50 years, the Federal Department of Labor has provided that wages in U.S. territories, including American Samoa, be set by a federally appointed wage board, following public hearings".[19]

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was the subject of claims on the internet that she or her husband own stock in Del Monte and that she has thus pushed for keeping the tax loophole for Del Monte.[20] Pelosi has not received any contributions from Del Monte employees.<=This does not answer the accusation "own stock in Del Monte" it only says "has not received any contributions from Del Monte".[citation needed][21]

Pop culture references[edit]

  • Del Monte produced an iconic advertising campaign in the 1980s with the catchphrase "The Man from Del Monte he says YES". The man from Del Monte was portrayed by British actor Brian Jackson.
  • During The Troubles in Ireland, the Unionist political slogan, "Ulster says no!" was mocked by nationalists who added "...and the man from Del Monte says yes." This was in response to the Del Monte advertising campaign at the time. In a related incident, a gable wall in Belfast was painted with a huge mural supporting Rev Ian Paisley's "Ulster Says No To Sodomy" campaign (which opposed the legalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults in Northern Ireland). The graffiti "But the man from DelMonte says Yes!" soon appeared in response.
  • On The Simpsons, Mr. Burns hires an assassin to kill Grampa Simpson and delivers a picture of Grampa eating Del Monte canned peas. The assassin remarks, 'Ah, Del Monte. Enjoy them old man, they will be your last!"
  • On The Simpsons, Kent Brockman proclaims, while showing off one of his many vacuous awards, "This is the most prestigious award that Del Monte gives."
  • On Pee-wee's Playhouse, the picture phone has a Del Monte can. The logo does not have the words 'Del Monte', but is solid red within the Del Monte symbol. There is also a cat in the fruit cocktail.[22]
  • In the comic strip Bloom County, Opus once agreed to an absurd bargain over a case of "Del Monte herring entrails."
  • In the UK, between 1996 and 1998, Del Monte's popular fruit drink at the time, Fruit Burst, sponsored Gladiators.
  • On the website of satirical newspaper The Onion, in a video about the fake takeover of the United States Government staged in order to excuse the federal government from paying off the national debt, the rebel leader's name is Octavius Del Monte.
  • Snausages were featured in the 1983 episode of VH1's I Love the '80s Strikes Back.
  • Popular characters from a 1980s Del Monte promotion, the Country Yumkins, appeared in parades, including a Ringling Bros. elephant walk.
  • Robert Duvall's character in The Road eats a can of Del Monte fruit.
  • The Pinky and the Brain episode "Where the Deer and the Mousealopes Play" features a secondary character named Dell Monte as a Presidential candidate (being a stand-in for 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole; whose last name is shared with the Dole Food Company).

Del Monte Foods products[edit]

Consumer brands[edit]

  • Del Monte
    • Fresh Cut
    • Orchard Select
    • SunFresh
    • Superfruit
    • Fruit Naturals
    • Fruit Chillers
    • Fruit Undressed
  • S&W (S&W Fine Foods, acquired in 2001)
  • Contadina
  • College Inn
  • Fruit Burst
  • Frozen Meals


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Company Fact Sheet." (Archive) Del Monte Corporation. Retrieved on December 22, 2011. "Del Monte Corporation One Maritime Plaza San Francisco, CA 94111"
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Investor Fact Sheet". Del Monte Foods. September 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  4. ^ "The Corporation". History San Jose. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  5. ^ a b "Our History". Del Monte Foods. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  6. ^ William Braznell (1982). California's finest: The history of the Del Monte Corporation and the Del Monte brand. San Francisco: Del Monte Corp. 
  7. ^ Chris Carlsson. "Del Monte Foods". San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Del Monte absorbs Heinz brands". 14 June 2002. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  9. ^ "A Fine Recipe". S&W Fine Foods. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  10. ^ "Del Monte Foods Completes Sale of Private Label Soup and Infant Feeding Businesses to TreeHouse Foods, Inc." (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 24 April 2006. 
  11. ^ "Del Monte Foods Completes Meow Mix Acquisition" (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 19 May 2006. 
  12. ^ "Del Monte Foods Completes Acquisition of Milk-Bone". Del Monte Foods. 3 July 2006. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  13. ^ "Del Monte Pet Products Voluntarily Withdraws Specific Product Codes of Pet Treats and Wet Dog Food Products" (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 31 March 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  14. ^ "Del Monte sells seafood unit to Korea's Dongwon". USA Today (USA 30 June 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  15. ^ "Welcome to the Del Monte Foods Investor Relations section of" (Press release). Del Monte Foods. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  16. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ Affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. Sells Del Monte Canada to ConAgra Foods
  19. ^ "Pelosi moves to close Samoa wage loophole". The Washington Times ( 13 January 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  20. ^ Brooks Jackson (14 January 2009). "Sliming Pelosi". Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  21. ^ Jess Henig (26 November 2008). "Special Favors from Nancy Pelosi?". Retrieved 2011-11-08. 
  22. ^ Paul[dead link]

External links[edit]

Del Monte Foods Consumer Brand Sites
Del Monte Foods Pet Brand Sites