Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation is a baby food company that is owned by the Swiss branded consumer-goods firm Hero Group.
Beech-Nut's roots go back to 1891, to the Mohawk Valley town of Canajoharie, New York. Raymond P. Lipe, along with his friend John D. Zieley and their brothers, Walter H. Lipe and David Zieley, and Bartlett Arkell, founded The Imperial Packing Co. for the production of Beech-Nut ham. The product was based on the smoked hams of the Lipes' father, farmer Ephraim Lipe. The company's principal products were ham and bacon for the first seven years. The Zieleys sold their shares to the Lipe brothers in 1892.
The company was incorporated as the Beech-Nut Packing Company in 1899. Arkell was the first president of the company. In 1900, the company's sales were $200,000. Engineers from Beech-Nut patented the first vacuum jar, with a design that included a gasket and top that could remain intact in transit and became a standard of the industry .
1973: Part of the company that sold only baby food was sold to a group led by lawyer Frank C. Nicholas.
1977: Beech-Nut Food Corporation became the first baby food company to have an entire product line without added salt.
1979: Nicholas sold the baby food company to Nestlé.
1981: Nabisco acquired Life Savers (which includes the Beech-Nut candy line) from the E.R. Squibb Corporation.
1987: Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation paid US $2.2 million, then the largest fine issued, for violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by selling artificially flavored sugar water as apple juice. John F. Lavery, the company's vice president for operations was convicted in criminal court and sentenced to a year and a day in jail; Niels L. Hoyvald, the president of the company, also convicted, served six months of community service. Each of them also paid a $100,000 fine.
^Business Finance The Management Approach, Richards C. Osborn, pages 524-526
^TIME Magazine, June 18, 1956: CORPORATIONS: New Wrapper
^James Traub (July 24, 1988). "Into the Mouths of Babes". The New York Times. Retrieved . It is well within the reach of most white-collar criminals to assume an air of irreproachable virtue, especially when they're about to be sentenced. But there was something unusually compelling about the bearing of Niels L. Hoyvald and John F. Lavery as they stood before Judge Thomas C. Platt of the United States District Court in Brooklyn last month - especially in light of what they were being sentenced for. As president and vice president of the Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation, Hoyvald and Lavery had sold millions of bottles of apple juice that they knew to contain little or no apple juice at all - only sugars, water, flavoring and coloring. The consumers of this bogus product were babies.