|Traded as||NASDAQ: SENEA, NASDAQ: SENEB|
|Industry||Canned foods, snacks, air charter|
|Headquarters||Marion, New York, USA|
|Key people||Arthur S. Wolcott, Chairman
Kraig H. Kayser, President and CEO
|Products||Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, snacks|
|Revenue||$1.28 billion US (2009)|
|Operating income||$48 million US (2009)|
|Net income||$19 million US (2009)|
|Employees||3,200 full-time, 9,700 seasonal (2009)|
Seneca Foods Corporation is a leading low-cost food processor and distributor headquartered in Marion, New York, USA. The company primarily produces canned, frozen, and bottled produce under private label as well as national and regional brands that the company owns or licenses, including Seneca, Libby’s, Aunt Nellie’s Farm Kitchen, Stokely’s, Read and Diamond A. Under a long-term alliance agreement with General Mills, the company produces products under the Green Giant and Le Sueur labels. The company also produces frozen vegetables, fruit and chip products, and steel cans, and runs an air charter business.
The company was founded in 1949 in Dundee, New York, by Cornell University business student Arthur S. Wolcott. In the 1950s, Seneca contracted with Minute Maid to co–pack the first frozen grape juice in the nation. Apple processing, specialty syrups, and maraschino cherries were added to the product line. The development of private label, bulk, industrial and co–pack segments also took place during this time. Fruit processing remained the primary focus for the next several decades.
During the 1960s, the company continued to expand with new plants and new products, including the nation's first frozen apple juice concentrate, under the Seneca brand. The corporate name was changed from Seneca Grape Juice Company to Seneca Foods Corporation. During this time frame, the Prosser, Washington plant was opened for the production of applesauce and fruit juices, and the company continued to add brokers and expand distribution throughout the country to grow its branded business. Seneca's first national television advertisements for its frozen concentrate juices took place. Seneca stock began trading in the over-the-counter market, and Vitamin C enriched apple juice was introduced – a first in the industry.
The 1970s was a period of rapid growth and diversification as the company acquired companies in the food distribution, canned vegetable, glass, paint and textile businesses. Through one of these acquisitions, Julius G. Kayser joined Seneca and played a key role in the company's growth until his death in 1988. The corporate name was changed to S.S. Pierce Company, and production of metal cans began.
During the 1980s, the corporate name changed back to Seneca Foods Corporation, and the company consolidated most of its non-food operations and focused on its fruit and vegetable lines. The company rolled out the first natural frozen grape juice and expanded the juice line into white grape, cranberry, and cranberry blends. The juices were advertised nationally featuring Marion Ross from TV's Happy Days. The company entered the private label retail and food service vegetable business in the Midwest, and began producing IQF frozen vegetables for the food service and industrial markets.
In the 1990s, further acquisitions and internal growth allowed Seneca to emerge as the world's largest processor of canned vegetables. The company acquired six plants from Pillsbury and entered into an alliance with them to manufacture products under the Green Giant label. At the end of the decade, the company strengthened its financial base by selling its juice and applesauce operations and raising additional capital with a shareholder rights offering. Sales expanded to global markets, and a profitable apple chip business was acquired. Seneca Flight Operations also became the fixed based operator at the Penn Yan, New York, Airport, and a hangar complex was constructed.
- Hudson Valley Pure Food Co.
- Hilton Fruit Co–op
- North Wayne Co–op
- Westfield Maid Co–op
- Boordy Vineyards
- Lehman Bros.
- Castle Hansen
- S.S. Pierce Company and subsidiaries
- Marion Canning
- Fruit Belt Preserving Co.
- Seneca Kraut
- Perfection Foods
- Libby's canned vegetable business
- Treesweet, Orange Plus, and Awake juice brands
- Blue Boy, Aunt Nellie's, and Lohmann vegetable brands
Current members of the board of directors of Seneca are: Arthur S. Wolcott, Kraig H. Kayser, Arthur H. Baer, Andrew M. Boas, Robert T. Brady, Douglas F. Brush, G. Brymer Humphreys, Thomas Paulson, and Susan W. Stuart.