|Headquarters||Westport, Connecticut, U.S.|
Paul Newman (founder)|
A. E. Hotchner (co-founder)
|Products||Popcorn, drinks, pasta sauce, salad dressing, salsa, frozen pizza, frozen skillet meals|
Newman's Own is a food company founded by the late actor Paul Newman and author A. E. Hotchner in 1982. The company gives 100% of the after-tax profits from the sale of its products to Newman's Own Foundation, a private non-profit foundation which in turn gives the money to various educational and charitable organizations.
The brand started in 1982 with a homemade salad dressing that Paul Newman and Hotchner prepared themselves and gave to friends as gifts. The successful reception of the salad dressing led Newman and Hotchner to commercialize it for sale. After that initial item, financed by Newman and Hotchner ($20,000 each as seed money), pasta sauce, frozen pizza, lemonade, fruit cocktail juices, popcorn, salsa, grape juice, and other products were produced. Newman's Own Lemonade was introduced in 2004 and Newman's Own premium wines in 2008. Each label features a picture of Newman, dressed in a different costume to represent the product. The company incorporated humor into its label packaging, as in the label for its first salad dressing in 1982, "Fine Foods Since February".
In 1993, Newman's daughter Nell Newman founded Newman's Own Organics as a division of the company, later to become a separate company in late 2001. It produces only organic foods including chocolate, cookies, pretzels and pet food. Her father posed with her for the photographs on the labels. In 2014, Nell's license with Newman's Own was not renewed.
Newman and Hotchner co-wrote a memoir about their company and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good (ISBN 0-385-50802-6), published in 2003. Newman and CEO Robert Forrester arranged for the continuation of the distribution of Newman's Own profits to charity after Newman's death through the establishment of the Newman's Own Foundation.
On the death of Newman in 2008, control of the company and foundation passed to CEO Robert Forrester, a person Newman felt shared his vision for the company. Since taking over, Forrester has expanded and diversified the company. However, Newman's daughter, Susan, has alleged that Forrester has taken her family "hostage" and pushed them off the board of the Newman's Own Foundation, the body setup to distribute company profits to charitable causes. He says the company and foundation are continued to be operated in accordance with the expressed wishes of her late father. Forrester's salary increased from $185,000 to $295,000 from 2010 to 2013.
Charitable funding and beneficiaries
According to the Newman's Own Foundation website, over $500 million (USD) has been generated for charity since 1982. In 2016 the company donated profits of $30 million after gross sales of $600 million. The company co-sponsored the PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award, which was presented annually to a United States resident who had fought courageously, despite adversity, to safeguard the First Amendment right to freedom of expression as it applied to the written word.
A sampling of grantees is available at the Newman's Own Foundation website along with a description of funding areas. One beneficiary of this charity is the SeriousFun Children's Network (previously the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), residential summer camps for seriously ill children, which Paul co-founded in 1988. Today, there are camps, programs, and initiatives operating in 50 countries across 5 continents. Over 384,700 children have attended a SeriousFun program free of charge. While proceeds from Newman's Own financed the startup of the camp, it now receives funding from many other sources. Additionally, the Newman's Own Foundation also provided a grant to The MINDS Foundation to fund US operations of the non-profit that works in rural India. Other beneficiaries of the profits from Newman's Own have included The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund (from 1983 onwards), Shining Hope for Communities, Safe Water Network, Edible Schoolyard NYC, Fisher House Foundation, the WILD Young Women Programme (New Zealand), and Pilgrims Hospices (UK).
Newman's Own Organics pays a name licensing fee, directed to the Newman's Own Foundation, to Newman's Own.
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- "About us".Newman's Own Foundation
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- Michael Roth (11 January 2012). "Opportunity, Engagement and Confidence: Cures for the Civic Recession". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- "Newman's Own Foundation Awards $4 Million for Nutrition Programs". Philanthropy News Digest (Press release). 28 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- Michael A. Fuoco (5 December 2012). "Fisher House in Pittsburgh welcomes ailing veterans' families". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- Rebecca Blithe (20 April 2012). "US charity helps fund programme for Auckland teens". The Aucklander. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
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- "Meet the woman behind the Newman's Own Organics label". Grist. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2018-09-04.