Del Monte is probably the world's most famous fruit brand, well-known around the globe for a wide variety of fresh and processed fruit products. Yet this quintessential brand has endured a series of dramatic challenges since its heyday during the 1970s. Once a single global business, Del Monte was broken up in 1989, and its various constituent parts have passed through the hands of numerous owners, of whom two at least have ended up as fugitives from international justice. The brand is still split between multiple companies, but the number of separate marketers is gradually being reduced through merger and consolidation. In the most significant such transaction, US company Del Monte Foods - then also America's #3 petfood manufacturer - sold all its fruit and vegetable operations in 2014 to international rival Del Monte Pacific. The remaining business relaunched as Big Heart Pet Brands (and was later acquired by JM Smucker). The slimmed down Del Monte Foods USA is now the biggest business within Del Monte Pacific of the Philippines. Total revenues were $2.0bn in 2019 including $1.7bn in the US. In addition to Del Monte, the company controls the Contadina tomato products brand, S&W tinned fruit and vegetables and College Inn soups. Joselito Campos Jr is CEO. Del Monte Pacific in turn licenses the brand to FieldFresh Foods of India, a joint venture with local giant Bharti. Although it uses the name for packaged fruit and vegetables, its most sizeable business is in Italian cuisine, including dried pasta, sauces and olive oil. The biggest company by total sales in the widely spread Del Monte family is now Fresh Del Monte, which has global rights to the brand on fresh fruit and vegetables, and regional rights within Europe for packaged or processed fruit. Revenues were $4.5bn in 2019. Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh is chairman and controlling shareholder. Del Monte Canada is yet another company again, acquired in 2018 (from ConAgra) by French company Bonduelle, who in turn license the brand to Canadian fruit and vegetable processor Lassonde Industries. In Mexico, the brand is still controlled by ConAgra, while in much of the rest of Asia, it belongs to Japanese company Kikkoman.
Capsule checked 9th June 2020
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Historical profile information for Del Monte
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jul 2016: Del Monte Foods, which owns the famed canned fruit n' veg brand in the US as well as College Inn soups and Contadina tomato paste, consolidated all its marketing duties with Epsilon, the "sleeping giant" of the US marketing business. Epsilon is far and away the biggest marketing agency by revenues in the US, but rarely crosses most observers' radar. Best-known for database marketing and general CRM duties, it's often overlooked, working in the backroom for customer acquisition and retention and less showy digital projects. Yet it has an exceptional client roster which includes 15 of the top 20 global brands, and at least eight of the top ten companies in sectors as diverse as financial services, packaged goods, automobiles and healthcare. This appointment - the first we can recall where Epsilon has been selected as agency of record by a significant marketer - suggests that the sleeping giant has woken. Something else for traditional agencies to worry about.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Oct 2013: Control of the world-famous Del Monte fruit brand took another step towards consolidation, following acceptance by Del Monte Foods of the US of an offer from Del Monte Pacific, which controls the brand in much of Asia. The latter will buy out the American company's consumer foods operations, which also include Contadina tinned tomatoes and College Inn soups, for almost $1.7bn. The slimmed-down Del Monte Foods will adopt a new name in order to focus instead on its petfoods brands, which include Meow Mix and Natural Balance. In Europe, the Del Monte brand is still controlled by a third company, Fresh Del Monte.
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