The Del Monte name was first used in the 1880’s for premium coffee prepared for the prestigious Hotel Del Monte in California. In 1892 the company expanded and Del Monte was chosen as the brand name for its new line of canned peaches.
In 1892 the California Fruit Canners Association (CFCA) formed with the merger of 18 West Coast canning companies, including the Del Monte brand. By the 1920’s CFCA, now named California Packing Corporation, operated more than 60 canneries all over the U.S. as well as a Pineapple farm in Hawaii.
Around the time of WWII, the company began purchasing facilities overseas. At this time the company changed its name to Del Monte Corporation.
Today the company is one of the largest producers and distributors of canned fruits and vegetables in the United States and includes the brands Del Monte, Contadina, and College Inn. Pet food brands include Meow Mix, 9Lives, and Milk-Bone.
Del Monte is currently owned by a group of private investors led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The company is #113 on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies, has 7,600 employees, and had $3.82 billion in revenue in 2013.