Chances are you’ve never heard of this company. In a quick, informal survey, I discovered that, of the 20 people I questioned, none could identify the company nor any of their products.
However, you might be surprised to discover that your family has long enjoyed many of the brands that make up this unique international food group. The vast majority of their brands have been in existence for at least 50 years each, and they penetrate 81% of U.S. households.
You won’t find them displayed together in the same area of your favorite grocery, but you will readily recognize them and may very well be stunned to discover that they belong to the same family of fine foods.
Their dry food segment includes well-known brands such as Duncan Hines baking mixes and frostings, Vlasic pickles, Armour canned meats, Mrs. Butterworth’s and Log Cabin syrups and Open Pit barbecue sauce.
Their frozen food segment includes well-known brands such as Hungry-Man and Swanson frozen dinners, Aunt Jemima frozen breakfasts, Van de Kamp’s and Mrs. Paul’s frozen seafood, Lender’s bagels and Celeste frozen pizza.
All these once-heralded labels have come under the ownership of Pinnacle Foods Corp., whose strategy is to purchase tired but well-known packaged food brands and reintroduce them, adding modern-day twists.
In this very chaotic age of constant change and global competition, we, as organizations, should be doing very much the same thing. We must maintain our well-known, successful foundations while searching for necessary changes to address new customers demands, technologies, competition, etc. Pinnacle Foods has obviously accomplished this challenge as they enjoy continued success in a very competitive marketplace. Those who have chosen to refrain from this strategy have lost their competitive edge or, in many cases, simply fallen by the wayside.
They are a company of iconic brands that are very much part of the fabric of Americana, each of which has some great history and heritage. We, as consumers, know the products from ad campaigns of decades ago, and the company is trying to capitalize on that recognition.
But there’s a challenge: The American diet has changed. Besides fried chicken dinners and breakfast biscuits, people want healthy options, prompting Pinnacle to add new products.
Pinnacle Foods Corp., headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies, founded in 1998 as Vlasic Food International.