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|Product type||Pasta sauce|
|Previous owners||LiDestri Foods|
|Tagline||"America's Favorite Pasta Sauce Brand"|
The Ragú brand was first sold in 1937 and in 2014 was the best selling U.S. brand of pasta sauce. Ragú was acquired by the Lipton and Bestfoods companies before merging with the Unilever portfolio, prior to its sale to Mizkan.
The Ragú pasta sauce line consists of smooth Old World Style sauces, Chunky sauces, bold Robusto! sauces, as well as organic and light pasta sauces. While most well known for selling jar packaged pasta sauce, Ragú also purveys a pizza sauce and an Alfredo sauce.
In its first several decades, Ragú advertising and sales broadened the appeal of Italian-American food in the United States, with slogans like "That's Italian!" and "Ragú brings the Italian out in you!" Americanized Italian cuisine is now the most common "ethnic" cuisine served in U.S. households, followed by variations of Americanized Mexican cuisine.
Current advertising highlights the natural ingredients and "full serving of veggies" found in the sauce. Cooked tomato foods, including Ragú, are highlighted as containing the antioxidant lycopene, which is claimed to be a cancer fighting agent. As of 2015, the advertising campaign refers to the creation of Ragú by Assunta Cantisano (see below: "History") with the phrase "Simmered in Tradition."
Although the name is spelled with an accent like the Italian sauce, ragù, the brand name Ragú is spelled with an acute accent, while the Italian word ragù (an Italian sauce typically used for dressing pasta) is spelled with a grave accent.
Ragú had its origins in Rochester, New York in 1937. Assunta Cantisano and her husband Giovanni founded the Ragu Packing Company in their home in Rochester, New York in 1937, making spaghetti sauce in their basement and selling it on their front porch. They later expanded to an entire factory. In 1969, the Ragu name was sold to Chesebrough-Pond's, which in turn was acquired by Unilever in 1987. The facility in Rochester still manufactured products under the Cantisano name brand. Some of the original facility still exists and produces products for other labels (including Newman's Own) as private label foods.
The Cantisano family left to create Cantisano Foods (now LiDestri Foods), and invented the Francesco Rinaldi brand of pasta sauce. The quotations "As I got older, I got better" and "Ciao, Francesco Rinaldi" have gained popularity since their use in commercials for Francesco Rinaldi.
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