Find the latest episode of "This Is Uncomfortable" here. Listen

Kraft Foods corporate profile

Marketplace Staff Feb 10, 2009

Corporate Profile: Kraft Foods Inc.

In the beginning, there was cheese. In 1903, Canadian James L Kraft started a wholesale door-to-door business to sell cheese in Chicago. A little more than 10 years later, the company was selling 31 different kinds of cheeses. By 1930, Kraft accounted for 40 percent of the US cheese market.

The modern-day version of Kraft as a food — as opposed to only cheese — company came into being at the end of 1988. Philip Morris Companies bought Kraft and combined it with its General Foods unit, from where household brands like Oscar Mayer, Maxwell House and Jell-O hail. In 2000, Philip Morris took over Nabisco Holdings and Kraft was again merged with the new acquisition. A year later, Kraft launched the third-largest IPO of all time and sold 280 million of common shares.

In January 2007, Kraft was spun off as its own company.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.