- Kraft Foods Inc.
▪ American companyone of the world's largest food and beverage companies with sales in more than 145 countries. Its headquarters are in Northfield, Illinois.Kraft grew out of a wholesale cheese-delivery business established in Chicago in 1903 by James L. Kraft. Three years later he and his brother Charles began processing cheese for distribution to area retailers. Two other brothers later joined the firm, and in 1909 it was incorporated as J.L. Kraft Bros. & Company. The brothers patented a spoil-resistant processed cheese, which was sold in great quantities to the U.S. Army during World War I. In 1930 the company was acquired by National Dairy Products Corporation (established 1923), which adopted the names Kraftco Corporation in 1969 and Kraft, Inc., in 1976. From 1980 to 1986 the company merged with Dart Industries, Inc., a diversified company manufacturing goods including home appliances, plastic products, and batteries. When Kraft, Inc., split off in 1986, it retained the batteries division for two years. Kraft was acquired in 1988 by Philip Morris Companies (Altria Group), which also purchased Nabisco Holdings in 2000. (Philip Morris changed its name to Altria Group in 2003.) Nabisco's business was integrated into Kraft's operations. Some of Kraft's most popular brands have included Kraft cheese, Milka chocolates, Philadelphia cream cheese, and Nabisco cookies and snack foods.
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