Rich Products

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Rich Products Corporation
Type Private
Industry Food & Drink
Founded 1945; 69 years ago (1945)
Founder(s) Robert E. Rich, Sr.
Headquarters Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people
  • Robert E. Rich Jr. (Chairman)
  • William G. Gisel Jr. (President & CEO)
  • Melinda R. Rich (Vice Chairman)
Services
  • Foodservice
  • Foodservice Supplier
Revenue Increase US$ 3.1 billion (2013)
Employees 9,200 (2013)
Website richs.com

Rich Products Corporation (also known as Rich's) is a privately held, multinational food products corporation headquartered in Buffalo, New York. The company was founded in 1945 by Robert E. Rich, Sr., after his development of a non-dairy whipped topping based on soybean oil.[1] Since then, the company has expanded its non-dairy frozen food offerings, and also supplies products to retailers, in-store bakeries, and foodservice providers.[2]

Rich’s employs 9,200 associates worldwide, with manufacturing facilities in Brazil,[3] Canada,[4] India, China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, [5] Mexico,[6] South Africa,[7] Australia, the United Kingdom[8] and the United States.[9] The company sells more than 2,000 products in 112 countries.[2] Rich's currently ranks number 164 on Forbes list of America's Largest Private Companies.

Company history[edit]

1940s[edit]

Rich’s began in 1945, when Robert E. Rich, Sr., sought a replacement for dairy-based whip cream due to milk shortages during World War II.[1] Through the use of soybeans, Rich created a cream that was less expensive than dairy-based whipped cream, yet lasted longer in the refrigerator and could "remain frozen for more than a year without degrading."[10]

1950s[edit]

In 1954, the company introduced the first commercial line of frozen éclairs and crème puffs, which are still produced today.[11]

1960s[edit]

During the 1960s, Rich‘s expanded further, introducing CoffeeRich, a non-dairy frozen creamer in 1961.[11] The company also constructed a manufacturing plant in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada the following year. This facility is now known as Rich Products of Canada, Ltd. The acquisition of Elm Tree Baking Co., in 1969, expanded Rich’s offerings to include frozen baked goods.[12]

1970s[edit]

The 1970s were also a decade of growth for Rich's, with the acquisition of nine new production facilities as well as SeaPak, a company based in St. Simons, Georgia, that produces frozen seafood specialties.[12]

1980s[edit]

In 1980, Rich’s introduced Freeze-Flo, a process that allows foods to remain soft while frozen. The company introduced another product, On Top, a non-dairy dessert topping, in 1986, which was notable for its packaging – a pastry bag with its own tip. Rich’s also expanded its product line through the acquisition of Casa Di Bertacchi, a specialty meat and frozen pasta producer, in 1982, and Byron’s, a barbecue and meat producer, in 1986.[12]

1990s[edit]

During the 1990s, Rich’s expanded internationally, opening facilities in Mexico, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Australia, among others.[13]

2000s[edit]

Since 2000, Rich’s has acquired a number of companies to diversify its offerings. These include frozen dessert and bakery mix producer JW Allen & Co.,[14] Jon Donaire Desserts,[15] and donut producer Rolling Pin Manufacturing.[16] Rich’s integration of French Meadow Bakery and acquisition of World Catch LLC (all-natural seafood)[17] and GLP Manufacturing (gluten-free baked goods)[18] entered the company into the health and wellness food sector.[12]

In 2005, the company celebrated 60 years as a family-owned company with the “60 Delicious Years” worldwide birthday party on March 14. As part of the celebration, Rich’s renovated lunch and break rooms at all of its manufacturing sites and launched an employee recognition program.[19]

On August 23, 2013, Rich's celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Fort Erie, Ontario plant.[20]

Product portfolio[edit]

Rich’s offers a diverse body of products, including: toppings and icings; sweet goods; finished desserts; appetizers; bread and rolls; pizza products; Italian specialties; barbecue; and shrimp and seafood.[2]

In addition to the Rich’s brand, the company sells products under a number of other brands it has acquired, such as SeaPak; Farm Rich; French Meadow, Casa Di Bertacchi; Byron’s Barbecue; Carvel, f'real and Jon Donaire.[21]

Sports[edit]

In 1972, Rich Products signed a 25-year deal for the naming rights to the Buffalo Bills' new stadium, then under construction in suburban Orchard Park.[22] From 1973 to 1998 this stadium was known as Rich Stadium. This is one of the earliest examples of the sale of naming rights in North American sports; it was for $1.5 million, or $60,000 per year.[22] When the original deal expired in 1998 and Rich chose not to renew at a much higher rate, the stadium was renamed in honor of Ralph C. Wilson, the Bills' owner and founder.

Rich's also owns three minor league baseball teams, most notably the Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A International League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.[23] The other two teams are the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals), and the Jamestown Jammers (Single-A Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates).[24][25]

On November 4, 2010, Bob Rich announced that Rich Products shall be the official kit sponsor of the English Northern League Division One team Bedlington Terriers F.C.[26]

In 2013, Rich's Farm Rich brand became sponsor for Front Row Motorsports' David Ragan in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and in its first race as sponsor, Ragan won the 2013 Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway; Farm Rich again served as Ragan's sponsor at Richmond International Raceway in the 2013 Federated Auto Parts 400.[27]

References[edit]

External links[edit]