Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Birds Eye Foods

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November 1952.
November 1963.

Birdseye of Great Yarmouth.

Late 1920s, the Frosted Foods Co, a subsidiary of General Foods Corporation, established a quick-frozen foods business in the USA, using the freezing technology of Clarence Birdseye, marketed under the brand Birds Eye.

1938 Frosted Foods Co Ltd was formed in the UK, wholly owned by its US parent and the MD; acquired the patent rights for the British Empire of the freezing technology. Birds Eye Foods Ltd was incorporated with shareholders being Frosted Foods Co Ltd, Chivers and Sons, Inveresk Paper Co and Mr J M Schiff.

1943 Unilever became the major shareholder

1944 The other shareholders (Chivers and Sons, Inveresk Paper Co and Mr J M Schiff) were bought out by Frosted Foods Co Ltd.

1945 Commenced the freezing of mackerel at Great Yarmouth

Batchelors Peas and Poulton and Noel, both part of Unilever began freezing products for Birds Eye

1949 Opened another factory in Lowestoft

1950 Opened another factory at Kirkby

1957 Acquired the facilities of Smethursts (Grimsby)

1959 Acquired the factory of Times Food Products Co

1965 Acquired a majority stake in North-Eastern Fish Industries

1981 Unilever merged T. Wall and Son (Ice Cream) Ltd with Birds Eye Foods to form Birds Eye Wall's Ltd'. Following a review of production facilities, the Gloucester factory was expanded and updated, and the Acton factory was closed ("Project Phoenix" 1983).

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Competition Commission