Heinz company | Heinz: Heinz company, Heinz was founded by and is named for Henry J. Heinz, who was born in the United States to German immigrants. His father was originally from Kallstadt (then in Bavaria, now part of Rhineland-Palatinate). His mother Anna was also from Bavaria, and they met in Pittsburgh. Henry J. Heinz began packing foodstuffs on a small scale at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, in 1869. There he founded Heinz Noble & Company with a friend, L. Clarence Noble, and began marketing horseradish. The first product in Heinz and Noble’s new Anchor Brand (a name selected for its biblical meaning of hope) was his mother Anna Heinz’s recipe for horseradish. The young Heinz manufactured it in the basement of his father’s former house.
The company went bankrupt in 1875. The following year Heinz founded another company, F & J Heinz, with his brother John Heinz and a cousin, Frederick Heinz. One of this company’s first products was Heinz Tomato Ketchup. The company continued to grow. In 1888, Heinz bought out his two partners and reorganized the company as the H. J. Heinz Company. Its slogan, “57 varieties”, was introduced by Heinz in 1896. Inspired by an advertisement he saw while riding an elevated train in New York City (a shoe store boasting “21 styles”), Heinz picked the number more or less at random because he liked the sound of it, selecting “7” specifically because, as he put it, of the “psychological influence of that figure and of its enduring significance to people of all ages.”
Heinz: 20th Century
In 1905, H. J. Heinz was incorporated, and Heinz served as its first president, holding that position for the rest of his life. Under his leadership, the company pioneered processes for sanitary food preparation, and led a successful lobbying effort in favor of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. In 1908 he established a processing plant in Leamington, Ontario, Canada for tomatoes and other products. Heinz operated it until 2014, when it was sold. Heinz was a pioneer in both scientific and “technological innovations to solve problems like bacterial contamination.” He personally worked to control the “purity of his products by managing his employees”, offering hot showers and weekly manicures for the women handling food. During World War I, he worked with the Food Administration. In 1914, Heinz Salad Cream was invented in England. In 1930, Howard Heinz, son of Henry Heinz, helped to fight the downturn of the Great Depression by selling ready-to-serve soups and baby food. They became top sellers. During World War II, “Jack” Heinz led the company as president and CEO to aid the United Kingdom and offset food shortages. Its plant in Pittsburgh was converted for a time to manufacture gliders for the War Department. In the postwar years, Jack Heinz expanded the company to develop plants in several nations overseas, greatly expanding its international presence. He also acquired Ore-Ida and Starkist Tuna.
In 1959, long-time Heinz employee Frank Armour Jr. was elected presidenف and COO of H. J. Heinz Co., succeeding H. J. Heinz II. He was the first non-family member to hold the job since the company started in 1869. He became vice chairman in 1966, and later became chairman and CEO of Heinz subsidiary, Ore-Ida Foods Inc. In 1969, Tony O’Reilly joined the company’s UK subsidiary, soon becoming its managing director. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1971 when he was promoted to Senior Vice President for the North America and Pacific region. By 1973, board members Robert Burt Gookin and Jack Heinz selected him as COO and President. He became CEO in 1979 and chairman in 1987. Heinz Oven-Baked Beans newspaper ad from 1919 Between 1981 and 1991, Heinz returned 28% annually, doubling the Standard & Poor’s average annual return for those years. By 2000, the consolidation of grocery store chains, the spread of retailers such as Walmart, and growth of private-label brands caused competition for shelf space, and put price pressure on the company’s products. The decline was also attributed to an inadequate response to broad demographic changes in the United States, particularly the growth in population among Hispanic and increased spending power of African Americans. On April 4, 1991, former U.S. Senator Henry John Heinz III, the third-generation successor to the Heinz fortune, and six other people were killed when a Bell 412 helicopter and a Piper Aerostar with Heinz aboard collided in mid-air above Merion Elementary School in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. His fortune passed to his wife, Teresa Heinz. In 1998, Tony O’Reilly left Heinz after issues with the company’s performance. He faced challenges from corporate governance groups and pension funds including CalPERS. He was succeeded by his deputy, William R. Johnson.
Heinz: 21st Century
In 2001, Heinz acquired the pasta sauce, dry bouillon and soup business of Borden Foods. CEO William R. Johnson stated that “They fit very well with our tomato-based expertise”. Billionaire Nelson Peltz initiated a proxy battle during 2006, culminating in a vote to place five of Peltz’s nominees on the Board. After the final vote, two of the five nominees joined the Heinz Board. The new members of the board were Nelson Peltz and Matthew Craig Walsh. In June 2008, Heinz began an advertising campaign in the UK for their new ‘New York Deli Mayo’ products. The advertisement featured two men kissing in a family setting, which drew 200 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority. On June 24, 2008 Heinz withdrew the advertisement, which had been planned for a five-week run. The company said that some of its customers had expressed concerns. Withdrawing the advert was also controversial, with critics accusing Heinz of homophobia. The gay rights group Stonewall called for a boycott of Heinz products. Some expressed surprise that it had responded to what they said was a relatively small number of complaints, compared to the UK’s estimated 3.6 million gay and lesbian consumers. MP Diane Abbott called the decision to withdraw the advert ‘ill-considered’ and ‘likely to offend the gay community’. On February 14, 2013, it was announced that Heinz would be purchased by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital for $23 billion. Including debt assumption the transaction was valued at $28 billion. According to Heinz, the deal was the largest in food industry history. Berkshire Hathaway and 3G would each own half of Heinz, with 3G running the company. Berkshire and 3G paid $72.50 a share. The acquisition was completed in June of that year. Berkshire and 3G immediately named Bernardo Hees, former chief executive of Burger King Worldwide Inc, as the CEO. On August 13, 2013, Heinz announced it was cutting 600 jobs in North America. On October 25, 2013, fast-food chain McDonald’s announced it would end its 40-year relationship with Heinz, after the former Burger King chief Hees became its CEO.