Bumble Bee Foods

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Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
Industry Seafood
Founded 1899
Headquarters San Diego, California, USA
Owner Lion Capital
Website www.bumblebee.com
Bumble Bee Foods in Santa Fe Springs, California

Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, is a company that produces canned tuna, salmon, other seafoods, and chicken under the brand names “Bumble Bee,” “Wild Selections,” “Beach Cliff,” “Brunswick,” and “Snow’s.”[1] The company is headquartered in San Diego, California, United States. The brand is marketed as Clover Leaf in Canada. It is now owned by the British private equity firm Lion Capital.[2]


The Bumble Bee company began in 1899 when seven salmon canners in Astoria, Oregon, formed the Columbia River Packers Association (CRPA) under the leadership of A. B. Hammond.[3][4] The Bumble Bee brand was introduced in 1910.[3] The CRPA incorporated in 1924, and in 1946, Transamerica acquired a controlling interest in CRPA, Inc.[4] After partnering with Wards Cove Packing Company in 1959, CRPA became the world's largest salmon packer.[4] In 1961, Castle & Cooke acquired CRPA by merger and changed the name of the company to Bumble Bee Seafoods after its most famous brand.[4]

Since the mid-1980s, Bumble Bee has gone through a number of ownership changes, beginning with Castle & Cooke's sale of Bumble Bee in a leveraged buyout to management in 1985. The management team, having paid off their leveraged debt before their 5-year goal, sold Bumble Bee to Pillsbury in 1988 contingent upon the president, Patrick Rose, and the management team staying on for five years,[5] Pillsbury in turn, following its December 1988, hostile takeover by Grand Metropolitan PLC, was forced to sell the brand the next year to the Thai company Unicord.[6] Bumble Bee went bankrupt in 1997, and was sold to International Home Foods, the former food unit of American Home Products. ConAgra Foods acquired International Home Foods in 2000; it sold Bumble Bee to the private equity firm Centre Partners in 2003. The Canadian company Connors Brothers Limited merged with Bumble Bee in 2004. The company was renamed Bumble Bee Foods, LLC in 2005.[3] Centre Partners acquired the company again in 2008 and sold it to Lion Capital in 2010.

In August 2015, Bumble Bee Foods was sued, accused of colluding with Chicken of the Sea and StarKist to fix prices.[7]

Bumble Bee Foods was in talks to merge with Chicken of the Sea, but it was called off, December 3, 2015, after Justice Department expressed "Serious Concerns".[1][8]


In 1982, 40 million cans of Bumble Bee tuna were recalled due to holes in some cans.[9] In 2007, a case of botulism caused by food produced at a Castleberry's Food Company plant owned and operated by Bumble Bee prompted a recall. In 2010, the USDA announced a recall of Bumble Bee chicken salad products due to pieces of plastic found in packaging.[10]

Worksite accident[edit]

On October 11, 2012 a worker died in a pressure cooker at the Santa Fe Springs, California Bumble Bee plant.[11] In 2013 the company was fined nearly $74,000 and cited for six safety violations for the death.[12] In April 2015, felony charges related to the accident were brought against the company, the director of plant operations, and the director of safety. The Los Angeles district attorney alleged that the accused willfully violated worker safety rules.[13]


The company formerly ran a cannery in Astoria, Oregon, the Samuel Elmore Cannery, which had been designated a National Historic Landmark. The deteriorating structure was later slated for demolition, and the facility burned down in 1993. Today the company has canneries in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and Santa Fe Springs, California.[3]


The brand is known for its "Yum Yum Bumble Bee" advertising jingle.[14] The jingle was adapted into a song by the ska band Mephiskapheles on their 1994 record God Bless Satan.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chicken-sea-and-bumble-bee-abandon-tuna-merger-after-justice-department-expresses-serious
  2. ^ "Bumble Bee Foods Announces Completion of Acquisition by Lion Capital". Bumble Bee Foods. December 15, 2010. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d "All About Bumble Bee". Bumble Bee Foods. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d Martin, Irene. "Columbia River Packers Association". The Oregon Encyclopedia. 
  5. ^ "Bumble Bee Seafoods L.L.C. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Company News; Bumble Bee Seafoods Sold to Thai Concern". The New York Times. August 17, 1989. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Lawsuit alleges StarKist colluded over prices; Ansys reports dip in profits; Arnet steps aside at Women and Girls Foundation". Pittsburgh Star Gazette. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Chicken of Sea, Bumble Bee Abandon Tuna Merger as US Objects". ABC News. Retrieved 2015-12-04. 
  9. ^ Burros, Marian (June 9, 1982). "Recall Of Tuna Proceeds Slowly". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ Saltzman, Sammy (December 6, 2010). "Chicken Salad Recalled By Bumble Bee (Complete Product List)". CBS News. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Worker Dies After Being Cooked In Tuna Plant Oven". CBS Los Angeles. October 12, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  12. ^ Vives, Ruben (May 10, 2013). "Details emerge about how Bumble Bee worker died in pressure cooker". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Bumble Bee charged in gruesome worker oven death". CNN Money. April 28, 2015. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Bumble Bee Seafoods Launches First Brand Marketing Campaign Since 1987" (Press release). Business Wire. April 28, 1998. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  15. ^ Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock. Hal Leonard Corp. p. 113. ISBN 0-87930-607-6. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Martin, Irene; Roger Tetlow (2011). Flight of the Bumble Bee: The Columbia River Packers Association & a Century in the Pursuit of Fish. Long Beach, WA: Chinook Observer. ISBN 978-0615548456. 

External links[edit]