Bruce Foods was Cajun long before Cajun was hot. Its Original Louisiana Hot Sauce is a top-selling variety nationwide (alongside McIlhenny's Tabasco brand hot-pepper sauce). It sells Louisiana-brand hot peppers, too. As one of America's largest privately-owned food manufacturers, it makes and markets less incendiary offerings, including Tex-Mex products and traditional Southern favorites, such sweet potato pancake, muffin, bread-pudding, and biscuit mixes. Cajun King seasonings, Casa Fiesta Mexican foods, Cajun Injector marinades, and Mexene chili seasonings round out the company's portfolio of products. Bruce Foods was founded in 1928; the Bruce family still owns and manages the company.
Based in Louisiana Bruce Foods distributes its 350-plus products to grocery stores throughout the US and in more than 100 countries. The food manufacturer has plants in New Iberia, Louisiana, and El Paso, Texas.
Following the sale in late 2013 of its canned vegetables business and two of its four manufacturing plants, Bruce Foods is focusing on growing its other product lines, including Louisiana Hot Sauce and Louisiana Gold, Mexene Chili, and Cajun Injector marinades. The company kept its two remaining plants, located in New Iberia and El Paso,
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestments
In December 2013 Bruce Foods sold its canned vegetables business to South Carolina's McCall Farms. The sale included the Bruce's brand and two manufacturing plants -- located in Louisiana and North Carolina -- and covered yams, white potatoes, and Southern vegetables, including okra, squash, greens and carrots.
Bruce Foods extended its reach into cooking oil by acquiring the Summerfield and Summer Oaks cooking oil brands from Summerfield, based in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2010. Bruce Foods bought the maker of peanut oil and cottonseed oil products to supplement its items that are intended for kitchen or outdoor use.
Sales and Marketing
As part of the Bruce Foods research and development program, the company caters to its retail and food service customers by formulating new recipes and coming up with new menu ideas. It formulates recipes for its company website, product label promotions, recipe cards, holiday pamphlets, magazine, newspapers, national chain restaurants, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. Outcomes of this effort include Sweet Potato, Shrimp, and Jalapeno Bisques; Chipotle and Chevre Polenta Cakes; Buffalo Catfish Wraps; and Lemon Butter Garlic Vinaigrette. It also offers its customers custom formulation.
The founding Bruce family still owns and operates the namesake food company.