Hunt's barbecue sauce
|Product type||Preserved tomato products|
|Owner||ConAgra Foods, Inc.|
Hunt's is the name of a brand of preserved tomato products owned by ConAgra Foods, Inc. The company was founded in 1888, in Sebastopol, California, as the Hunt Bros. Fruit Packing Co. by Joseph and William Hunt. The brothers relocated to nearby Santa Rosa in 1890, and then to Hayward in 1895. This small canning operation grew rapidly, focused on canning the products of California's booming fruit and vegetable industries. By 1941, the plant shipped a hundred million cans of soup, fruits, vegetables, and juices annually. 
75% of the line personnel working at Val Vita were Mexican women. Substandard wages and poor working conditions were among the issues raised by Local 2 of the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA) during the strikes at the plant in 1942. UCAPAWA won a "resounding victory" at the plant in 1942 and went on to represent workers there.
In 1943, Hunt's was taken over by Norton Simon's Val Vita Food Products - a competing firm founded in the early 1930s. The merged firm kept the Hunt's name and incorporated as Hunt Foods, Inc. The new management decided to focus the company on canned tomato products, particularly prepared tomato sauce.
The Wesson Oil & Snowdrift Company merged with Hunt's Foods, Inc. to become Hunt-Wesson Foods. Hunt-Wesson merged with the McCall Corporation and Canada Dry to form Norton Simon Inc. in 1968. Norton Simon was acquired by Esmark in 1983, which merged with Beatrice Foods the next year. In 1985, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts acquired Beatrice with the goal of selling off businesses. Hunt-Wesson, the company which included the Hunt's brands, was sold in 1990 to agribusiness giant ConAgra.
Besides canned tomato sauce, the Hunt's brand appears on tomato paste, diced, whole, stewed, and crushed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, canned potatoes, peaches and their Family Favorites line of canned recipe helpers. It also is the brand name appearing on Manwich brand sloppy joes products as well as Hunt's Snack Pack Pudding. Reddi-wip whipped cream was originally also under the Hunt's banner.
See also 
- Workers of the Writers' Program. "Los Angeles: A Guide to the City and its Environs". Hastings House, 1941, page. 346.
- Ruiz, Vicki I. "Cannery Women, Cannery Lives." University of New Mexico Press, 1987, pp. 82-83.
- "High-fructose corn syrup cut from Hunt's ketchup". News & Record (Associated Press). 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "ConAgra switches back to HFCS in Hunt’s ketchup citing lackluster demand". 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
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