Universal Foods changes name, image

In an effort to redefine the company it has become, Universal Foods Corporation changed its name to reflect its expansion beyond the food industry.

Universal is now called Sensient Technologies Corporation. The new name is more fitting for a company that’s branching out to non-food markets, Chief Financial Officer Richard Hobbs said.

“When [chairman, president, and Chief Executive Officer] Kenneth Manning took over about four years ago, he asked me to work with him to look at new acquisitions, to find ways to move into more profitable areas that are more technology driven,” he said. “We’ve had 12 acquisitions since then. They’ve been big factors in building what we are today.”

While still keeping to its roots in the food industry, where it supplies colors, flavors, and fragrances, the company sought out acquisitions that capitalized on the non-food applications of its products, such as ink for ink-jet printers and additives for cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, Hobbs said. With this new focus, the company decided to pick a name that represented its whole range of applications, he said.

“The first part of the name is Sen, which stands for sensory; that runs the whole gamut of what we provide,” he said. “Sight is color; taste is flavor; scent is fragrance; and there’s touch. The middle of the name is derived from the word science, because the things we are doing involve technology, or science, to get done. The third part is the business-to-business part that we’re selling—ingredients to companies that are making a finished product.”

The company chose this name rather than use an acronym or one of its brand names because it wanted to convey that message, Hobbs said. Although the name is intended to show the company’s interests outside food, that doesn’t mean it will abandon the food industry, Hobbs said.

“We are absolutely dedicated to the food business,” he said. “The food business is still very important. Our involvement in food has allowed us to do other things.”

The name-change strategy also involved the launch of a new Web site, The company plans to expand the site’s role in future business-to-business operations, Hobbs said.

“Ultimately, our customers are going to be able to use e-business technology to satisfy what they need for their products,” he said.

Haake changes name to Thermo Haake
Another company to make a recent name change is Haake Instruments, Inc. which is now known as Thermo Haake.

Parent company Thermo Electron Corporation initiated the name change as part of a new corporate identity strategy. The strategy attempts to establish an affiliation between Thermo Electron and its 80-plus brands, including Haake, as well as unifying the company.

The company will add the prefix “Thermo” to all of its businesses names. They will take on the new identities by March.

Thermo Electron provides technology-based instruments, components, and systems that offer total solutions for markets ranging from telecommunications to food and beverage production.

ADM donates $3 million to ease famine in Angola
Archer Daniels Midland Company donated $3 million to the World Food Programme to help alleviate hunger in the Southern African nation of Angola.

The donation was half cash, half food, and is ADM’s largest humanitarian donation. The company will pay out the donation over three years.

The World Food Programme is a United Nations effort to fight global hunger. It targets the hungriest people in the poorest countries.

Based in Decatur, Ill., ADM links farmers with food manufacturers. It procures, transports, processes, and merchandises agricultural commodities and products.

Pillsbury provides breakfasts for needy children
The Pillsbury Company celebrated the holidays by donating 127,945 pounds of frozen waffles to America’s Second Harvest, a domestic hunger-relief organization.

With more than 200 regional food banks and food rescue-programs, America’s Second Harvest provides relief to 26 million Americans in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The organization distributed the 718,080 servings of Homestyle and Blueberry Hungry Jack Waffles provided by Pillsbury to meal service programs such as Kids Cafes, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and other organizations that focus on childhood nutrition.

The donated waffles will also mark the debut of the new “Pillsbury Doughboy Waffle,” which bears an imprint of the company’s icon in the center. Pillsbury, a Minneapolis-based subsidiary of Diageo plc., produces a range of grocery items, frozen foods, and refrigerated dough products for international consumer markets. It also supplies baking and other food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries.

Friendship sets new dip record
Friendship Dairies set a new Guinness World Record for the world’s largest dip with a six-foot-wide bowl of salsa sour cream dip.

Friendship, which produces an all-natural line of dairy products, mixed 1,614 pounds of sour cream, 302 pounds of salsa ingredients, and 80 pounds of salsa spices. The company assembled the giant bowl of dip, which contained an estimated 32,000 servings, outside Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee before the football game between Florida State and the University of Florida. A six-foot-long spoon stirred the mixture.

The previous record for world’s largest dip was established March 19, 1999, in Queensland, Australia, with a 1,807-pound bowl of guacamole.

Air Liquide America Corporation opened a carbon dioxide purification and liquefaction plant in Washington, Ind. The 300-ton-per-day facility will provide an in-market supply source for the Midwest. The company, which is based in Paris, France, produces industrial, specialty, and medical gases for various industries worldwide, including the food industry.

Cerestar USA is in the process of a multi-year upgrade of its main facility in Hammond, Ind. One of the most critical projects, the redesign of the main warehouse and packaging building, has entered the construction phase. Construction is expected to be completed by June. Four new packaging lines will be installed. Cerestar USA manufactures starch and starch derivatives for food and industrial applications.

Researchers and fumigation experts at Dow AgroSciences are developing improved fumigation techniques and practices for use against stored product pests. The company presented recent methyl bromide alternative research findings and recommendations at the 2000 Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions in Orlando, Fla. The company is developing ProFume™, a gas fumigant for food processing and storage facilities. Dow AgroSciences is based in Indianapolis, Ind., and provides pest management and biotechnology products.

Eskimo Pie’s Flavors & Ingredients Division is changing its name to Value America—Your First Choice for Flavors & Ingredients. The division hopes to become the leading supplier of value added flavors and ingredients to the food and dairy industry, and the name change is the first step toward that goal.

FIS Asia Pacific Services opened its Asia region headquarters and Customer Service Centre Asia (CSCA) in Jurong, Singapore. The 1,500 square-meter facility includes new offices, laboratories, application areas, a pilot plant, tasting rooms, storage areas, shelf-life testing rooms, and conference rooms. The CSCA will focus on compound flavor development, sensory evaluation, and the provision of customized flavor solutions in Asia. FIS creates, produces, and markets favorings for the food-manufacturing industry in over 60 countries.

Kerry Group acquired Armour Food Ingredients from ConAgra Inc. Kerry Group produces food ingredients and consumer foods worldwide. Armour Food Ingredients provides specialty food ingredients including savory flavorings, cheese and dairy flavorings, and specialty lipid powders to the U.S. food industry.

Maximum Marketing has contracted with Imagine Foods to sell and merchandise a full line of natural non-dairy products. Maximum Marketing, located in Pampano Beach, Fla., provides representation of a wide variety of natural and specialty products at the retail level. Imagine Foods is based in California and produces natural foods.

Newly Weds Foods acquired Flavorite Laboratories. Based in Memphis, Tenn., Flavorite provides blended seasonings for meat, poultry, side dishes and snacks, as well as custom-formulated soups, sauces, glazes, marinades, and gravies. Newly Weds Foods produces food coatings, seasonings, and functional ingredients for the food processing and foodservice industries.

Technical Sourcing International, Inc. opened TSI China, its new Asian headquarters in Shanghai, China. The facility houses the company’s analytical and developmental laboratories, in-house import/export trading department, secondary processing facilities, and warehouse space. It will oversee the company’s manufacturing facilities in China and will allow for the future handling of bulk powders for metal detection, removal, and densification. TSI researches, develops, tests, manufactures, markets, and distributes raw material ingredients to dietry supplement and nutraceutical food manufacturers worldwide.

Tosca Ltd. plans to build a 50,000 square-foot plant in Tulare, Calif. Tosca, based in Green Bay, Wis., is a container management and services firm specializing in “640" wood containers used in the cheese making industry. The company also manages returnable containers in the meat and produce industries, as well as keg repair for breweries throughout the U.S. The facility will eventually expand to 100,000 square feet.

Vilter Manufacturing Corporation won start magazine’s third annual Technology & Business Award Competition, in cooperation with Microsoft. Vilter received the Vertical Market Solutions Award for Industrial Equipment for its Vission™ micro-controller, a touch screen system for industrial refrigeration applications. The award recognizes companies for their vision in implementing Windows-based technology to solve business challenges. Vilter is headquartered in Wisconsin and provides refrigeration equipment.

Assistant Editor