Innovation Through the Decades
An Overview of Our Story
The founder of the non-dairy segment of the frozen-food industry, Rich Products Corporation is a leading supplier and solutions provider to the foodservice, in-store bakery and retail marketplaces. Since 1945, Rich’s has been committed to developing food solutions that raise the bar on quality, convenience and efficiency for its customers. Rich’s posts annual sales exceeding $3.3 billion, employs more than 9,200 people worldwide, with more than 50 locations spanning six continents.
Rich Products Corporation was founded by Robert E. Rich Sr. in 1945 after his discovery that a soya bean substance could be frozen, thawed and whipped to serve as a vegetable-based replacement for whipped cream. This “miracle cream from the soya bean,” named Rich’s® Whip Topping®, revolutionizes food processing and later serves as the springboard for a series of groundbreaking, non-dairy products.
Rich’s expands its product offering with the introduction of items for which the company is still famous today: a commercial line of frozen eclairs and crème puffs and Coffee Rich, the nation’s first frozen, non-dairy creamer which hits the supermarket shelves in 1959 and makes Rich’s a household name.
The 1960s mark the beginning of a long history of company expansion, including its expansion into Canada with Rich Products of Canada Ltd. led by President of the start-up subsidiary Robert E. (Bob) Rich Jr. – son of company founder, Robert R Rich Sr.
Rich’s continues aggressive manufacturing expansion by acquiring nine new production sites and further expansion of its portfolio with the acquisition of SeaPak Shrimp & Seafood Company. After successfully establishing Rich Products of Canada Ltd., Bob Rich Jr. becomes President of Rich Products Corporation.
Rich’s revolutionizes frozen food with the introduction of two significant product innovations: Freeze Flo® and On Top®. Additionally, Rich’s diversifies its portfolio with the purchase of three Minor League Baseball franchises and continues aggressive expansion with purchases of frozen-food manufacturing facilities across the United States.
As product demand grows internationally, Rich’s opens more than 20 sales offices in major cities throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America and invests in several production facilities abroad, including Mexico, South Africa, and China. Rich’s international business by now includes 11 manufacturing facilities and the company sells products in more than 80 countries around the world.
Continued diversification brings to Rich’s portfolio an impressive assortment of fully finished frozen desserts by completing the acquisitions of Jon Donaire Desserts, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., and Mother’s Kitchen Desserts, in Burlington, N.J. In 2006, Bob Rich Jr. takes the reins as Chairman of Rich Products Corporation with his wife, Melinda R. (Mindy) Rich as Vice Chairman, and Bob Rich Jr. appoints Bill Gisel President and Chief Executive Officer.
2011 and Beyond
Rich’s expands offerings with the acquisitions of Celebration Foods, a leading manufacturer and distributor of frozen desserts and ice cream cakes, and VSE International, the leading wholesale bakery manufacturing company in Sydney, Australia. The company is named to the top 100 family-owned businesses in North America by CampdenFB magazine the same year a major structural shift converts the company’s two separate business groups into one seamless, global organization with five geographic regions.