Rich Products

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Rich Products Corporation
IndustryFood & Drink
Founded1945; 73 years ago (1945)
FounderRobert E. Rich, Sr.
HeadquartersBuffalo, New York, U.S.
Number of locations
20 plants (1997),
sales in more than 85 countries (2006)[1]
Area served
Key people
  • Robert E. Rich Jr. (Chairman)
  • William G. Gisel Jr. (President & CEO)
  • Melinda R. Rich (Vice Chairman)
  • Foodservice
  • Foodservice Supplier
RevenueIncrease US$ 3.6 billion (2017)
Number of employees
11,000 (2017)

Rich Products Corporation (also known as Rich's) is a privately held, multinational food products corporation headquartered in Buffalo, New York. The company was founded in 1945 by Robert E. Rich, Sr., after his development of a non-dairy whipped topping based on soybean oil.[2] Since then, the company has expanded its non-dairy frozen food offerings, and also supplies products to retailers, in-store bakeries, and foodservice providers.[3]

Rich's employs 11,000 employees worldwide, with manufacturing facilities in Brazil,[4] Canada,[5] India, China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand,[6] Mexico,[7] South Africa,[8] Australia, the United Kingdom[9] and the United States.[10] The company sells more than 2,000 products in 112 countries.[3] Rich's currently ranks number 116 on Forbes list of America's Largest Private Companies.

In addition to Farm Rich, the company mostly sells products under other brands it has acquired, such as SeaPak; French Meadow, Casa Di Bertacchi; Byron's Barbecue; Carvel, f'real and Jon Donaire. CoffeeRich is one of the company's few exceptions; nearly all of its products are "sold not under the Rich brand name."

Company history[edit]


Rich's began in 1945, when Robert E. Rich, Sr., sought a replacement for dairy-based whip cream due to milk shortages during World War II.[2] Through the use of soybeans, Rich created a cream that was less expensive than dairy-based whipped cream, yet lasted longer in the refrigerator and could "remain frozen for more than a year without degrading."[11]


In 1954, the company introduced the first commercial line of frozen éclairs and crème puffs, which are still produced today.[12]


During the 1960s, Rich‘s expanded further, introducing CoffeeRich, a non-dairy frozen creamer in 1961.[12] The company also constructed a manufacturing plant in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada the following year. This facility is now known as Rich Products of Canada, Ltd. The acquisition of Elm Tree Baking Co., in 1969, expanded Rich's offerings to include frozen baked goods.[13]


The 1970s were also a decade of growth for Rich's, with the acquisition of nine new production facilities as well as SeaPak, a company based in St. Simons, Georgia, that produces frozen seafood specialties.[13]


In 1980, Rich's introduced Freeze-Flo, a process that allows foods to remain soft while frozen. The company introduced another product, On Top, a non-dairy dessert topping, in 1986, which was notable for its packaging – a pastry bag with its own tip. Rich's also expanded its product line through the acquisition of Casa Di Bertacchi, a specialty meat and frozen pasta producer, in 1982, and Byron's, a barbecue and meat producer, in 1986.[13]


During the 1990s, Rich's expanded internationally, opening facilities in Mexico, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Australia, among others.[14]

In 1997 the company was described as a "20-plant, $1 billion global food-processing corporation."[15]


Since 2000, Rich's has acquired a number of companies to diversify its offerings. These include frozen dessert and bakery mix producer JW Allen & Co.,[16] Jon Donaire Desserts,[17] and donut producer Rolling Pin Manufacturing.[18] Rich's integration of French Meadow Bakery and acquisition of World Catch LLC (all-natural seafood)[19] and GLP Manufacturing (gluten-free baked goods)[20] entered the company into the health and wellness food sector.[13]

In 2005, the company celebrated 60 years as a family-owned company with the "60 Delicious Years" worldwide birthday party on March 14. As part of the celebration, Rich's renovated lunch and break rooms at all of its manufacturing sites and launched an employee recognition program.[21]

With over 2,000 products sold in "more than 85 countries,"[1] 2005 sales, worldwide, was $2.5 billion.


On August 23, 2013, Rich's celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Fort Erie, Ontario plant.[22]

On June 24, 2014, Rich's unveiled its new Innovation Center and Atrium @ Rich's.[23]

Product portfolio[edit]

Rich's offers a diverse body of products, including: toppings and icings; sweet goods; finished desserts; appetizers; bread and rolls; pizza products; Italian specialties; barbecue; and shrimp and seafood.[3]

In addition to the Rich's brand (Farm Rich), the company mostly[24] sells products under other brands it has acquired, such as SeaPak; French Meadow, Casa Di Bertacchi; Byron's Barbecue; Carvel, f'real and Jon Donaire.[25]


CoffeeRich[26][15][27] is one of the company's few exceptions; nearly all of its products are "sold not under the Rich brand name."[1][28]

Legal battles[edit]

The dairy industry fought Rich's nondairy products,[1][29][30] as it did over a century ago against margarine. As with the margarine battle, the fight was state by state,[31][32] Some of the company's early-day advertising used the term "coffee whitener" rather than non-dairy[33] [34]

Rich Products was sued in 36 states, the founder's older son Robert E. Rich Jr. said.[35] Eventually, his father's "court victories played an important role in legitimizing nondairy products."[1]


In 1972, Rich Products signed a 25-year deal for the naming rights to the Buffalo Bills' new stadium, then under construction in suburban Orchard Park.[36] The Robert E. Rich family reportedly[37], at one point, suggested calling the stadium Coffee Rich Park[24]

From 1973 to 1998 this stadium was known as Rich Stadium. This is one of the earliest examples of the sale of naming rights to a stadium in North American sports; it was for $1.5 million, or $60,000 per year.[36] When the original deal expired in 1998 and Rich chose not to renew at a much higher rate, the stadium was renamed in honor of Ralph C. Wilson, the Bills' owner and founder (as of 2017, the stadium is now called New Era Field).[38]

Rich's also owns three minor league baseball teams, most notably the Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A International League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.[39] The other two teams are the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals), and the West Virginia Black Bears (formerly the Jamestown Jammers, the Single-A Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates).[40][41][42]

On November 4, 2010, Bob Rich announced that Rich Products shall be the official kit sponsor of the English Northern League Division One team Bedlington Terriers F.C.[43]

In 2013, Rich's Farm Rich brand became sponsor for Front Row Motorsports' David Ragan in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and in its first race as sponsor, Ragan won the 2013 Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway; Farm Rich again served as Ragan's sponsor at Richmond International Raceway in the 2013 Federated Auto Parts 400.[44]


  1. ^ a b c d e Melanie Warner (February 17, 2006). "Robert Rich, Maker of Nondairy Whipped Topping, Is Dead at 92". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b Germain, David (June 11, 1995). "Rich has one cold foot in past, other in future". Times Daily. Florence, Alabama. Associated Press. p. 5D.
  3. ^ a b c " Business Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  4. ^ " South American Region Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  5. ^ " Canadian Region Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  6. ^ " Asian Region Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  7. ^ " Central American Region Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  8. ^ " African Region Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  9. ^ " European Region Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  10. ^ " United States Region Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  11. ^ Warner, Melanie. "Robert Rich, Maker of Nondairy Whipped Topping, Is Dead at 92". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  12. ^ a b "SIFE Company Profile". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d " History Page". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  14. ^ " - CBSi". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Case Study". Data Warehousing. 1997. p. 4.
  16. ^ Buffalo Business First
  17. ^ "Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Baking Management Magazine". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  19. ^ "Focus Investment Banking". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Niagara Frontier Publications". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  21. ^ " - CBSi". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ "Buffalo News". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  24. ^ a b Most of the Rich Products Corporation's offerings are not crowned with the Rich company/family name. Coffee Rich, introduced in 1961, (at which point Pennsylvania claimed violation of state dairy labeling laws, section 235) was then/is perhaps the best known and longest existing one. See "History of Soy Ice Cream and Other Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts" ISBN 1928914594, by William Shurtleff & Akiko Aoyagi (2013), p. 296
  25. ^ Product page
  26. ^ The product has the words on 2 lines, but references are to CoffeeRich
  27. ^ atop article, bolded: "Coffee Rich Corporation, makers of CoffeeRich and ..."
  28. ^ 2 others are Rich's Whip Topping and Rich's Eclairs.
  29. ^ "COFFEE-RICH, INC. v. DEPT". 1965.
  30. ^ William Shurtleff; Akiko Aoyagi (2013). History of Non-Dairy Whip Topping, Coffee Creamer. ISBN 1928914624.
  31. ^ "Eurich v. Coffee-Rich, Inc - 1972 - Vermont Supreme court".
  32. ^ "Coffee-Rich, Inc. v. Kansas State Board of Health (1964)".
  33. ^ "History of Modern Soy Protein Ingredients".
  34. ^ "1963.. in Baltimore ... Rich deliberately used the generic disclaimer coffee whitener rather than non-dairy creamer to avoid as much as possible stepping on the toes of dairy interests."
  35. ^ "Food: The Nondairy Dairy Man".
  36. ^ a b Fauber, John (May 17, 1989). "What's in a name?". Milwaukee Journal. p. 8C.
  37. ^ Gene Warner (November 11, 1997). "WILSON MAY RECEIVE LONG-AWAITED WISH BY RENAMING STADIUM". The Buffalo News.
  38. ^ "Ralph Wilson, owner of Buffalo Bills, dies at 95". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  39. ^ "Blue Jays, Bisons sign player development contract". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  40. ^ "Rich Baseball - Clubs". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  41. ^ "Jamestown becomes Class-A affiliate of Pirates". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  42. ^ "New NYPL club to be called the Black Bears". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  43. ^ "US billionaire aids non-league football team". 4 November 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2018 – via
  44. ^ "Farm Rich Sponsors David Ragan for Sept. 7 Richmond Race". Speedway Media. August 20, 2013. Retrieved September 11, 2013.

External links[edit]