Cudahy Packing Company

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Cudahy Packing Company (later Cudahy Company)
IndustryMeat packing
FateAcquired in 1981
SuccessorBar-S Foods Company
FoundersMichael Cudahy

Cudahy Packing Company was an American meat packing company established in 1887 as the Armour-Cudahy Packing Company and incorporated in Maine in 1915.[1] The Cudahy meatpacking business was acquired by Bar-S Foods Company in 1981.[2]


In 1887, Michael Cudahy, with the backing of Philip Danforth Armour, started the Armour-Cudahy packing plant in Omaha, Nebraska.[3]

The Cudahy Packing Company was created in 1890 when Cudahy bought Armour's interest.[3] The company added branches across the country, including a cleaning products plant at East Chicago, Indiana, built in 1909.[3] In 1911 the company's headquarters were transferred from Omaha to Chicago.[3]

A can of Old Dutch Cleanser

In 1905, Cudahy Packing Company introduced Old Dutch Cleanser.[4] In 1955, Purex Corporation, Ltd. acquired Old Dutch Cleanser from Cudahy.[5] The Greyhound Corporation acquired the consumer products business of Purex (which included Old Dutch Cleanser) in 1985 and was combined with Greyhound's Armour-Dial division, forming The Dial Corporation.[6] In December 2003, Dial was sold to Henkel for $2.9 billion.[7]

By 1922, Cudahy Packing Company was one of the largest packing houses in the United States with over $200 million in annual sales and 13,000 employees around the country.[3] and operations in South Omaha, Kansas City, Saint Joseph, Sioux City, Wichita, Memphis, East Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles, as well as distribution operations in 97 cities.[1] The business was hit by the Great Depression, but the company still employed about 1,000 Chicago-area residents during the mid-1930s.

Cudahy Packing Company's Delrich brand of margarine used a "color berry" to color its white vegetable based margarine yellow. This 1948 advertisement demonstrates how to color the margarine inside the package

Following World War II, it moved its headquarters first to Omaha and then in 1956 to Phoenix, where it took the name Cudahy Company. In 1957, the company was one of 500 companies listed in the first S&P 500.[8]

The company was acquired by General Host in 1968.[3][9]

The Cudahy meat packing business was sold to management in 1981 and renamed Bar-S Foods Company.[10] Bar-S Foods Company was acquired by the Mexican packer Sigma Alimentos in 2010.[11]


  1. ^ a b The Cudahy Packing Company; First Mortgage 5% Gold Bonds March 2, 1922 The Milwaukee Sentinel page 7
  2. ^ "Bar-S Foods Company". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Cudahy Packing Co. Encyclopedia of Chicago
  4. ^ "Old Dutch - History". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Purex buys Cudahy unit; Old Dutch Cleanser Division Is Sold for Stock and Cash". The New York Times. 25 April 1955. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ Evans, Heidi (22 February 1985). "Greyhound to buy Purex's consumer division". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  7. ^ Neff, Jack (15 December 2003). "Henkel acquires Dial Corp for $2.9 billion". AdAge. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  8. ^ "The Original Stocks in the S&P 500 Index - AllFinancialMatters".
  9. ^ L. Hannah, "Marshall's 'Trees' and the Global 'Forest': Were 'Giant Redwoods' Different?" 1997.
  10. ^ "General Host to Sell Cudahy's Meat Unit". 23 March 1981 – via
  11. ^ "Sigma Alimentos acquires Bar-S Foods".

Further reading[edit]

  • Cudahy Packing Co. Encyclopedia of Chicago
  • Patrick Cudahy, His Life autobiography (1912)
  • History of Cudahy Packing Company and meat packing industry from the Nebraska State Historical Society (RG1605.AM)