Birds Eye Foods, Inc. History

90 Linden Oaks
Rochester, New York 14625

Telephone: (585) 383-1850
Toll Free: 800-999-5044
Fax: (585) 385-2857

Private Company
Incorporated: 1961 as Curtice-Burns Foods, Inc.
Employees: 2,750
Sales: $843.4 million (2004)
NAIC: 311411 Frozen Fruit, Juice, and Vegetable Manufacturing; 311421 Fruit and Vegetable Canning; 311919 Other Snack Food Manufacturing

Company Perspectives:

Our Mission: To be widely recognized for leadership and accomplishment as a food processing and marketing company by using all of our partners' and associates' talents. Our Core Values: Do What is Right; Excellence in Performance; Commitment in Objectives; Teamwork.

Key Dates:

The Curtice brothers open a grocery store in Rochester, New York.
General Seafoods Corp. is founded by Clarence Birdseye.
The Postum Company buys General Seafoods, which becomes General Foods Corp.
British Birds Eye operations are sold to Unilever.
The Pro-Fac Cooperative is formed.
Curtice-Burns is formed.
Philip Morris buys General Foods Corp.
Dean Foods Vegetable Company (DFVC) buys Birds Eye from Philip Morris/Kraft.
Curtice-Burns is renamed Agrilink Foods.
Agrilink acquires DFVC and the Birds Eye brand; revenues exceed $1 billion.
Agrilink restructures to one company.
Vestar Holdings acquires majority control of Agrilink from Pro-Fac Cooperative.
Agrilink is renamed Birds Eye Foods.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Adelson, Andrea, "Food Maker Turns Down Dean Foods," New York Times, September 24, 1994, p. C5(N).
  • "Agrilink Prepped for Growth Following Recap," Loan Market Week, October 7, 2002, p. 5.
  • Burns, Greg, "Dean Buys Birds Eye from Kraft," Chicago Sun-Times, Financial Sec., November 2, 1993, p. 37.
  • Chao, Mary, "Aggressive Restructuring Pays Off at Agrilink," Rochester Business Journal, April 24, 1998, p. 1.
  • Cochran, Thomas N., and Pauline Yuelys, "Curtice-Burns Foods Inc.: Its Secret Is in Finding the Sauerkraut Markets," Barron's, September 26, 1988, p. 63.
  • Cook, James, "Tea for Two," Forbes, March 2, 1981, p. 78.
  • Ennen, Steve, "Frozen Assets: Teamwork Builds First-Ever Frozen Soup," Food Processing, October 1, 2002, p. 34.
  • "Engaging the Troops," Chief Executive, August 1, 2004, p. 62.
  • Frazier, Lynne McKenna, "New York Cooperative to Buy Seyfert Foods of Fort Wayne, Ind.," News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.), March 26, 1998.
  • "Frozen Soups by Birds Eye First for Big Name Brand," Quick Frozen Foods International, October 1, 2002, p. 85.
  • Gershman, Michael, "Birds Eye Foods: Frozen Assets," Getting It Right the Second Time: How American Ingenuity Transformed Forty-Nine Marketing Failures into Some of Our Most Successful Products, New York: Addison-Wesley, 1990.
  • Hill, Jim, "New York Firm to Acquire Salem, Ore.-Based Food Cooperative," Oregonian (Portland), December 18, 1998.
  • Holman, Kelly, "Vestar Completes $800M Agrilink Acquisition," Daily Deal, August 20, 2002.
  • ------, "Vestar Connects with Agrilink," Daily Deal, June 22, 2002.
  • "Inventors Hall of Fame Honors Frozen Food Innovator Clarence Birdseye," ?ID=334, February 10, 2005.
  • Ivan, Chris, "New Soup Adds 20 Jobs to Fulton Plant," Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), July 24, 2002, p. B1.
  • Jaffe, Thomas, "Sleeper," Forbes, December 26, 1988, p. 154.
  • Kosman, Josh, "Vestar Close to Bagging Birds Eye Foods," Daily Deal, March 9, 2002.
  • Lively, Janet, "Curtice Burns Prospects Blossom," Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.), July 15, 1997, pp. 8B, 10B.
  • Martin, Sam, and Kellogg G. Birdseye, "Clarence Birdseye: The Man and His Achievements," Quick Frozen Foods, March 1980, pp. 39-60, 78.
  • "More Fresh Produce to Carry Birds Eye Name," Food Institute Report, September 17, 2001, p. 3.
  • Pollack, Judann, "Birds Eye Spot Works to Stir Up One-Step Meals: Agrilink Brand Battles Nestle, Pillsbury Entries," Advertising Age, February 8, 1999, p. 12.
  • "Regional Edge," Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, July 1992.
  • Shephard, Sue, "The Father of Frozen Foods," Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000, pp. 303-10.
  • "This Co-op Really Cooperates," Food Processing, March 1996, pp. 78-79.
  • Tressler, Donald K., "How Clarence Birdseye Paved the Way for a Thriving Frozen Food Industry," Quick Frozen Foods, February 1977, pp. 53, 64, 78.
  • Williams, E.W., "The Biography of an Industry, and the Magazine That Grew Up with It: The History of Frozen Foods 1938-1963," Quick Frozen Foods, August 1963, pp. 143-308.
  • ------, "A Biography of Frozen Foods Covering 30 Years," Quick Frozen Foods, August 1968, pp. 51-105.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.69. St. James Press, 2005.