Kraft Food Company was founded by James Kraft in 1903. Kraft started off by selling wholesale cheese in Chicago, they later expanded, distributing to over 30 specialty cheeses under the name Kraft and Elkhorn. By 1920 Kraft began to mass produce specialty cheeses which were then exported to Canada and Europe. They later established plants in England and Germany. James Kraft’s development to new products and the use of innovative advertising methods led Kraft to be an early user of all communications media and as early as 1911 they were advertising on Chicago elevated trains, using outdoor billboards and mailing circulars to retail grocers.
Kraft was also the first to use colored advertisement in national magazines. By 1933 Kraft began using radio for advertising as well. Kraft’s innovation is also witnessed by the introduction of products such as; Velveeta in 1928, Miracle Whip salad dressing in 1933, Kraft macaroni and cheese dinner in 1936, Parkay margarine in 1940, sliced processed cheese in 1951, and Cheez Whiz in 1952. Kraft is primarily operated as a subsidiary to other larger corporations, the first being National Dairy Company in 1930.
Kraft was later purchased by Philip Morris in 1988 for twelve million, nine hundred thousand dollars. Morris then merged Kraft with General Foods unit in 1989, creating one entity known as Kraft General Foods Inc. , making it the largest food company in the United States and the second largest in the world. Philip Morris then acquired Nabisco in December 2000 and immediately began to integrate it into the operations of Kraft Foods and Kraft Foods International.
In 2001 Philip Morris created a new holding company for the combined operations know as Kraft Food Inc.. Kraft Food then had two main units, Kraft Food North America and Kraft Foods International with 2 chief executive officers (CEOs) Betsy D. Holden and Roger K. Deromedi respectively were name co-CEOs of Kraft Foods Inc.. In June of 2001 Philip Morris sold 16. 1 percent stake to the public, making it the second largest initial public offering in United States history.
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