Border Foods was founded in 1972 by four individuals, including two former Old El Paso executives, who set out to create a superior green chile product for the underserved foodservice channel. The authentic products gained popularity, and by 1983 the company had grown to more than $2 million in annual revenues. During the same year, the reputation for product quality and customer service gained the attention of Martin Steinman, a former President of Uncle Ben’s Rice, who purchased a majority ownership position in the company.
Following his acquisition of Border Foods, Mr. Steinman immediately upgraded the facilities and expanded the company’s production capacity. The investments showed immediate results, yielding growth in production volume and customer accounts. In order to finance the rapid growth, the company took on Sun Garden Packing as a partner in 1985. Facility investments continued and in 1989, new construction began on a new production plant on its current site in Deming, NM. In 1992, Hatch Chile joint venture was formed with Hatch Farms, Inc.
In 1993, Border Foods was acquired by Capital Partners, Inc., who provided additional growth capital to fill increasing demand for Border Foods’ products. Over the ensuing four years, the company invested $6 million in facility expansions aimed at efficiently improvements and implemented an acquisition strategy focused on broadening Border Foods’ product portfolio. Between 1998 and 1999, three more competitors were acquired in the Mexican food processing industry and in August of 1998, they acquired its largest non-captive competitor, Joy Canning, which allowed further penetration in the foodservice market and increase d production capacity. In February of 1999, Border Foods acquired El Molino, a division of the Milnot Company production Mexican salsas, dips, and dry seasoning for the private label and co-pack branded end markets. Finally, in May of 1999, the company acquired the brinded jalapeño division and manufacturing facility of a packaged jalapeño producer based in Las Cruces, NM.
By 2003, higher production volumes began to challenge the existing warehouse and management systems. Therefore, Border Foods leased an adjacent 200,000 square foot warehouse facility in Deming, NM to effectively triple the inside storage space and accommodate new business and projected growth. The company implemented a JD Edwards system to improve financial management. In 2005, Border Foods continued investing in its systems and installed a Red Prairie management system to improve inventory rotation controls. During 2005, Border Foods also invested in a Zilli & Bellini high-speed filler to improve efficiency in packing chile peppers and enchilada sauces.
Following a period of acquisitions and broad product diversification, rapid sales growth eclipsed $100 million in annual revenues in 2006. However, incurring a significant additional manufacturing and overhead costs due to the added complexity and equipment required for its more diverse product portfolio led to a financial restricting in the fall of 2006. As part of a financial restructuring, Allied Capital obtained a controlling interest in the company’s equity, retained an operational restructuring advisory firm that eliminated low margin products, closed the Las Cruces plant, and consolidated manufacturing management team with extensive experience in the food processing industry who implemented several operational and strategic initiatives that further improved efficiency, yield, labor utilization, and increased focus on quality and customer service.
In 2011, Mizkan Americas, Inc. acquired Border Foods, Inc. The acquisition builds on parent company Mizkan Group’s plans for global expansion of its retail, branded, food ingredient and food services businesses. Headquartered in Mt. Prospect, IL, and established in 1981, Mizkan Group Corporation in Japan. Mizkan Americas, Inc. operates across the U.S. and Canada, with both branded and private brand offerings for retail, foodservice and food ingredient sectors.