B&G Foods manufactures, sells and distributes a diverse portfolio of branded, high quality, shelf-stable food products, many of which have leading regional or national market shares. In general, we position our branded products to appeal to the consumer desiring a high quality and reasonably priced product. We complement our branded product retail sales with institutional and food service sales and limited private label sales.
B&G Foods, including our subsidiaries and predecessors, has been in business for over 120 years. We were incorporated in Delaware on November 25, 1996 under the name B Companies Holdings Corp. On August 11, 1997, we changed our name to B&G Foods Holdings Corp. On October 14, 2004, B&G Foods, Inc., then our wholly owned subsidiary, was merged with and into us and we were renamed B&G Foods, Inc.
Products and Markets
The following is a brief description of our brands and product lines:
The Ortega brand has been in existence since 1897 and its products span the shelf-stable Mexican food segment including taco shells, tortillas, seasonings, dinner kits, taco sauces, peppers, refried beans, salsas and related food products. We continue to expand our product offerings, with new products such as the Ortega whole grain corn taco shells and Ortega reduced sodium taco seasoning.
The Maple Grove Farms of Vermont brand, which originated in 1915, is a leading brand of pure maple syrup in the United States. Other products under the Maple Grove Farms of Vermont label include a line of gourmet salad dressings, sugar free syrups, marinades, fruit syrups, confections, pancake mixes and organic products.
The Cream of Wheat brand was introduced in 1893 and is among the leading brands and one of the most trusted and widely recognized brands of hot cereals sold in the United States. Cream of Wheat is available in original 10-minute, 21/2 minute and one-minute versions, and also in instant packets of original and other flavors, including Cinnamon Swirl and Maple Brown Sugar. We also offer Cream of Rice, a rice-based hot cereal. Since acquiring Cream of Wheat in 2007, we have introduced a whole grain version of original Cream of Wheat, which provides consumers with a good source of fiber. Most recently during 2009, we introduced a "Healthy Grain" version of instant Cream of Wheat, which provides consumers with an excellent source of fiber and a good source of protein.
The Polaner brand was introduced in 1880 and is comprised of a broad array of fruit-based spreads as well as jarred wet spices such as chopped garlic and oregano. Polaner All Fruit is a leading national brand of fruit-juice sweetened fruit spread. The spreads are available in more than a dozen flavors. Polaner Sugar Free preserves are the second leading brand of sugar free preserves nationally; we recently modified these products to include fiber.
The Bloch & Guggenheimer (B&G) brand originated in 1889, and its pickle, pepper/pimentos and relish products are a leading brand in the New York metropolitan area. This line consists of shelf-stable pickles, peppers, relishes, olives and other related specialty items.
The Las Palmas brand originated in 1922 and primarily includes authentic Mexican enchilada sauce, chili sauce and various pepper products.
The B&M brand was introduced in 1927 and is the original brand of brick-oven baked beans and remains one of the very few authentic baked beans. The B&M line includes a variety of baked beans and brown bread. The B&M brand currently has a leading market share in the New England region. We have recently added a Grandma's flavor to the brand which has a sweeter, more robust molasses flavor.
The Underwood brand's "Underwood Devil" logo, which was registered in 1870, is believed to be the oldest registered trademark still in use for a prepackaged food product in the United States. Underwood meat spreads, which were introduced in the late 1860s, include deviled ham, white-meat chicken, white-meat turkey, roast beef and liverwurst.
The Ac'cent brand was introduced in 1947 as an all-natural flavor enhancer for meat preparation and is generally used on beef, poultry, fish and vegetables. We believe that Ac'cent is positioned as a unique flavor enhancer that provides food with the "umami" flavor sensation.
The Emeril's brand was introduced in 2000 under a licensing agreement with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. We offer a line of pasta sauces, seasonings, cooking stocks, mustards, salsas, pepper sauces and cooking sprays under the Emeril's brand name.
The Trappey's brand, which was introduced in 1898, has a Louisiana heritage. Trappey's products fall into two major categories—high quality peppers and hot sauces, including Trappey's Red Devil.
The Joan of Arc brand, which originated in 1895, includes a full range of canned beans including kidney, chili and other beans.
The Grandma's brand of molasses, which was introduced in 1890, is the leading brand of premium-quality molasses sold in the United States. Grandma's molasses products are offered in two distinct styles: Grandma's Original Molasses and Grandma's Robust Molasses.
The Regina brand, which has been in existence since 1949, includes vinegars and cooking wines. Regina products are most commonly used in the preparation of salad dressings as well as in a variety of recipe applications, including sauces, marinades and soups.
The Wright's brand was introduced in 1895 and is an all-natural seasoning that reproduces the flavor and aroma of pit smoking in meats, chicken and fish. Wright's is offered in two flavors: Hickory and Mesquite.
The Sa-són brand was introduced in 1947 as a flavor enhancer used primarily for Puerto Rican and Hispanic food preparation. The product is generally used on beef, poultry, fish and vegetables. The brand's flavor enhancer is offered in four flavors: Original, Coriander and Achiote, Garlic and Onion, and Tomato. We have recently introduced reduced sodium versions of Sa-són.
The Brer Rabbit brand has been in existence since 1907 and currently offers mild and full-flavored molasses products and a blackstrap molasses product. Mild molasses is designed for table use and full-flavored molasses is typically used in baking, barbeque sauces and as a breakfast syrup.
The Vermont Maid brand has been in existence since 1919 and we offer maple-flavored syrup under the brand name. Vermont Maid syrup is available in regular, sugar-free and sugar-free butter varieties.
Processed Food Industry
The processed food industry is one of the United States' largest industries. It is characterized by relatively stable sales growth, based largely on price and population increases. As costs have increased in recent years, price has gained significance as a factor in sales growth. As large food companies with a presence in a variety of branded product categories seek tighter focus within their businesses, they have shed brands or an entire presence in non-core categories. They have also sold smaller brands to increase focus on the larger brands within their portfolios.
In the past decade, the retail side of the food industry has seen a still on-going shift of sales to alternate food outlets such as supercenters, warehouse clubs, dollar stores and drug stores. This shift has caused consolidation of traditional grocery chains into larger entities, often spanning the country under varying banner names. Consolidation has increased the importance of having a leading number one or two brand within a category, be that position national or regional. A broad sales and distribution infrastructure has also become critical for food companies, allowing them to reach all outlets selling food to consumers and expanding their growth opportunities.
Sales, Marketing and Distribution.
Overview. We sell, market and distribute our products through a multiple-channel sales, marketing and distribution system to all major U.S. food channels, including sales and shipments to supermarkets, mass merchants, warehouse clubs, wholesalers, food service distributors and direct accounts, specialty food distributors, military commissaries and non-food outlets such as drug store chains and dollar stores.
We believe our established infrastructure in these channels allows us to distribute our products and any additional products from acquisitions cost-effectively. We sell our products primarily through broker sales networks to supermarket chains, food service outlets, mass merchants, warehouse clubs, non-food outlets and specialty food distributors. The broker sales network handles the sale of our products at the customer level.
Sales. Our sales organization is aligned by distribution channels and consists of regional sales managers, key account managers and sales persons. Regional sales managers sell our products nationwide through national and regional food brokers, with separate organizations focusing on food service, grocery chain accounts and special markets. Our sales managers coordinate our broker sales efforts, make key account calls with buyers or distributors and supervise broker retail coverage of the products at the store level.
Our sales strategy is centered around individual brands. We allocate promotional spending for each of our brands and our regional sales managers coordinate promotions with customers. Additionally, our marketing department works in conjunction with the sales department to coordinate special account activities and marketing support, such as couponing, public relations and media advertising.
We have a national sales force that is capable of supporting our current business as well as potential new acquisitions. Our sales force was able to integrate the Ortega, Grandma's molasses, and Cream of Wheat brands within 30 days following the close of the respective acquisitions.
Marketing. Our marketing organization is aligned by brand and is responsible for the strategic planning for each of our brands. We focus on deploying promotional dollars where the spending will have the greatest impact on sales. Marketing and trade spending support, on a national basis, typically consists of advertising trade promotions, coupons and cross-promotions with supporting products. Radio and internet advertising supplement this activity.
Distribution. We distribute our products through a multiple-channel system that covers every class of customer nationwide. We believe our distribution system has sufficient capacity to accommodate incremental product volume in a cost-effective manner. See Item 2, "Properties" for a listing of our distribution centers and warehouses.
Our top ten customers accounted for approximately 50.5% of our net sales and 52.7% of our receivables for fiscal 2009. Other than Wal-Mart, which accounted for 16.0% of our fiscal 2009 net sales, no single customer accounted for 10.0% or more of our fiscal 2009 net sales. Other than Wal-Mart and C&S Wholesale Grocery, which accounted for 12.5% and 11.1% of our fiscal 2009 receivables, respectively, no single customer accounted for more than 10.0% of our receivables as of fiscal 2009. During each of the last three fiscal years our net sales to foreign countries represented less than 1.0% of our total net sales. Our foreign sales are primarily to customers in Canada.
Sales of a number of our products tend to be seasonal. In the aggregate, however, our sales are not heavily weighted to any particular quarter due to the diversity of our product and brand portfolio.
We purchase most of the produce used to make our shelf-stable pickles, relishes, peppers and other related specialty items during the months of July through October, and we purchase substantially all of our maple syrup requirements during the months of April through August. Consequently, our liquidity needs are greatest during these periods.