Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation is a baby food
Baby food
Baby food is any food, other than breastmilk or infant formula, that is made specifically for infants, roughly between the ages of four to six months to 2 years. The food comes in multiple varieties and tastes, can be produced by many manufacturers, or may be table food that the rest of the family...

 company that is currently owned by the Swiss branded consumer-goods firm Hero Group
Hero Group
Hero, an international brand-focused consumer foods group, was founded in 1886 in Lenzburg, Switzerland. Shortly after the turn of the century it started its international expansion with its first subsidiaries in Spain, the Netherlands and Italy.-Overview:...



Beech-Nut's roots go back to 1891, to the Mohawk Valley
Mohawk Valley
The Mohawk Valley region of the U.S. state of New York is the area surrounding the Mohawk River, sandwiched between the Adirondack Mountains and Catskill Mountains....

 town of Canajoharie, New York
Canajoharie, New York
Canajoharie, New York may refer to:* Canajoharie , New York* Canajoharie , New York...

. Raymond P. Lipe, along with his friend John D. Zieley and their brothers, Walter H. Lipe and David Zieley, and Bartlett Arkell, founded The Imperial Packing Co. with the production of Beech-Nut ham. The product was based on the smoked hams of Raymond and Walter's father, farmer Ephraim Lipe. The company's principal products were ham and bacon for the first seven years. David and John Zieley sold their shares to the Lipe brothers in 1892.

The company was incorporated as the Beech-Nut Packing Company in 1899. In 1900, the company's sales were $200,000. Engineers from Beech-Nut patented the first vacuum jar
Vacuum packing
Vacuum packing or vacuum packaging is a method of packaging that removes air from the package prior to sealing. It can involve both rigid and flexible types of packaging...

 with a design that included a gasket
thumb|sright|250px|Some seals and gaskets1. [[o-ring]]2. fiber [[Washer |washer]]3. paper gaskets4. [[cylinder head]] [[head gasket|gasket]]...

 and top that could remain intact in transit and became a standard of the industry .

During the first 25 years of the 20th century, the company expanded its product line into peanut butter
Peanut butter
Peanut butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts, popular in North America, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia. It is mainly used as a sandwich spread, sometimes in combination as in the peanut butter and jelly...

, jam, pork and beans
Pork and beans
Pork and beans is a culinary dish that uses pork and beans as its main ingredients. Numerous variations exist from Fabada Asturiana to Olla podrida to American canned pork and beans.-American canned pork and beans:...

, ketchup
Ketchup is a sweet-and-tangy condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and an assortment of...

, chili sauce
Chili sauce
Chili sauce is a condiment, similar to ketchup but with onion, garlic, and spice. Despite its name, it does not contain chili peppers and thus is not hot....

, mustard
Mustard (condiment)
Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant...

, spaghetti
Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin. Spaghetti is made of semolina or flour and water. Italian dried spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina, but outside of Italy it may be made with other kinds of flour...

, macaroni
Macaroni is a variety of moderately extended, machine-made, dry pasta made with durum wheat. Macaroni noodles do not contain eggs, and are normally cut in short, hollow shapes; however, the term refers not to the shape of the pasta, but to the kind of dough from which the noodle is made...

, marmalade
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits, boiled with sugar and water. The benchmark citrus fruit for marmalade production in Britain is the "Seville orange" from Spain, Citrus aurantium var...

, caramel
Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confection made by heating any of a variety of sugars. It is used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, and as a topping for ice cream, custard and coffee....

, fruit drops
Gumdrops are a type of confectionery . They are usually brightly-colored gelatin- or pectin-based pieces, shaped like a truncated cone and coated in granulated sugar. This makes them very sweet....

, mints, chewing gum
Chewing gum
Chewing gum is a type of gum traditionally made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene. For economical and quality reasons, many modern chewing gums use rubber instead of chicle...

, and coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...



  • 1891, founded as The Imperial Packing Company.
  • 1956, Life Savers Limited
    Life Savers
    Life Savers is an American brand of ring-shaped mints and artificially fruit-flavored hard candy. The candy is known for its distinctive packaging, coming in aluminum foil rolls....

     merged with Beech-Nut.
  • 1968, Beech-Nut Life Savers merged with Squibb (part of the Olin Corporation) to form the Squibb Beech-Nut Corporation
    Bristol-Myers Squibb
    Bristol-Myers Squibb , often referred to as BMS, is a pharmaceutical company, headquartered in New York City. The company was formed in 1989, following the merger of its predecessors Bristol-Myers and the Squibb Corporation...

  • 1973, part of the company, selling only baby food, was sold to a group led by lawyer Frank C. Nicholas.
  • 1977, Beech-Nut Food Corporation became the first baby food company to have an entire product line without added salt.
  • 1979, Nicholas sold the company to Nestlé
    Nestlé S.A. is the world's largest food and nutrition company. Founded and headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, Nestlé originated in a 1905 merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1867 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri...

  • 1987, Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation paid $2.2 million, then the largest fine issued, for violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
    Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
    The United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act , is a set of laws passed by Congress in 1938 giving authority to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to oversee the safety of food, drugs, and cosmetics. A principal author of this law was Royal S. Copeland, a three-term U.S. Senator from...

     by selling artificially flavored sugar water as apple juice
    Apple juice
    Apple juice is a fruit juice manufactured by the maceration and pressing of apples. The resulting expelled juice may be further treated by enzymatic and centrifugal clarification to remove the starch and pectin, which holds fine particulate in suspension, and then pasteurized for packaging in...

    . John F. Lavery, the company's vice president for operations was convicted in criminal court and sentenced to a year and a day in jail; Niels L. Hoyvald, the president of the company, also convicted, served six months of community service. Each of them also paid a $100,000 fine.
  • 1989 Ralston Purina acquired Beech-Nut from Nestlé.
  • 1997, all Beech-Nut products now free of added refined
    Refining is the process of purification of a substance or a form. The term is usually used of a natural resource that is almost in a usable form, but which is more useful in its pure form. For instance, most types of natural petroleum will burn straight from the ground, but it will burn poorly...

    Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

  • 1998, Milnot Holding Corporation, one of the portfolio of companies owned by the private equity
    Private equity
    Private equity, in finance, is an asset class consisting of equity securities in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange....

     investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners, acquired Beech-Nut from Ralcorp Holdings (a spin-off of Ralston Purina
    Ralston Purina Company
    Nestlé Purina PetCare Company is the pet food division of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., following its acquisition of the American Ralston Purina Company on December 12, 2001 and subsequent merger with Nestlé's Friskies PetCare Company. As a wholly owned subsidiary, it is headquartered at the General...

    ).After an ill-conceived merger with Heinz was rejected by the Government, the hand selected CEO destroyed much of the shareholder value as the major stockholders patiently stood by for five years and monitored the decline.
  • 2002, Beech-Nut became the first baby food manufacturer to produce a line of baby food with DHA
    Docosahexaenoic acid
    Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain and retina. In chemical structure, DHA is a carboxylic acid with a 22-carbon chain and six cis double bonds; the first double bond is located at the third carbon from the omega end...

     and ARA
    Arachidonic acid
    Arachidonic acid is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid 20:4.It is the counterpart to the saturated arachidic acid found in peanut oil, Arachidonic acid (AA, sometimes ARA) is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid 20:4(ω-6).It is the counterpart to the saturated arachidic acid found in peanut oil,...

    , two essential fatty acids found naturally in breast milk
    Breast milk
    Breast milk, more specifically human milk, is the milk produced by the breasts of a human female for her infant offspring...

  • 2005, Madison Dearborn sold Milnot, and Beech-Nut along with it, to the Swiss branded consumer-goods firm Hero Group.
  • 2007, Beech-Nut announced its intentions to move all of its manufacturing and corporate operations to Florida, NY
    Florida, Montgomery County, New York
    Florida is a town south of the Mohawk River in Montgomery County, New York, United States. The population was 2,696 in the 2010 United States Census. The town was named after the state of Florida...


External links

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