People today might not recognize the name “Toasted Corn Flake Co.,” but it played a crucial role in the evolution of the modern packaged goods industry.
The predecessor of the Kellogg Co. was one of the founding members of the group that evolved into the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and it even contributed the group's first president, Andrew Ross.
Kellogg's current president and chief executive officer, David Mackay, told SN that Kellogg is proud of its longevity in a trade association that has continued its commitment to the growth and development of the industry.
“Throughout its history, GMA has remained in tune with the key issues and concerns impacting CPG companies,” he said. “GMA has a proven track record in advancing a variety of key policies and initiatives — from food safety to nutrition to sustainability.”
GMA also serves as a critical link to policymakers in ensuring laws and regulations governing the industry are viable and sound, said Mackay.
In October 1908, at the first annual meeting of what was then called the American Specialty Manufacturers Association, a committee of 15 companies was appointed to write a constitution and bylaws.
Among them was McCormick & Co., which has remained actively involved in the association it help form, said former McCormick Chairman and CEO Charles “Buzz” McCormick.
“We've always had a person on the [GMA] board,” McCormick told SN.
McCormick said the GMA has benefited the industry by giving a voice to both the large and small CPG companies on issues like government policy, taxes and regulation. “The GMA has always tied the industry together. By being a member, you had all these industry companies that you could call and confer with.”
Along with Kellogg and McCormick, plenty of other early GMA member companies have thrived over the last 100 years, including Beech-Nut; Fels & Co.'s Fels-Naptha laundry soap brand, now part of The Dial Corp.; N.K. Fairbank Co.'s Fairy soap business, now part of Procter & Gamble and marketed in Europe; and Wilbur & Sons, Philadelphia, now known as Wilbur Chocolate, a subsidiary of Cargill.