With solid roots in Canada, Kraft Canada’s heritage can be traced back to J.L. Kraft.  Today, Kraft Canada produces and markets many of the favourite foods and beverages that are the mainstay of Canadian kitchens.

J.L. Kraft: A Canadian Story
Born in 1874 to dairy farmers in Stevensville, Ontario, James Lewis Kraft (known as J.L.) began his working life as a sales clerk in a country general store.  He didn’t like the poor economics he saw at the general store so with a vision of modern food merchandising, he set out to do something about it.

Mr. Kraft Moves to Chicago
In 1903, J.L. Kraft moved to Chicago and with $65 in capital, he entered the wholesale cheese business. Using a rented wagon and horse named Paddy, he bought cheeses daily from Chicago’s warehouse district and delivered them to local merchants. When his business prospered, he expanded it to include manufacturing.  Kraft was on the brink of revolutionizing cheese manufacturing, not only in Chicago, but around the world.

Processed Cheese – A Revolution in Food Production
In his early wholesale cheese days, Kraft was troubled by the amount of waste involved in selling cheese. He was determined to make cheese a more dependable and marketable commodity that would keep better, cook better and could be packaged in convenient sizes without waste.

Working with a double boiler and an old copper kettle in his kitchen, Kraft experimented with different formulas of blending and heating cheese. His determination paid off.  In 1916, J.L. Kraft was granted a patent for what became known as processed cheese.

Kraft: A Canadian Household Word
In 1920, Kraft entered the Canadian market by purchasing MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese Co. Ltd, which had a factory in downtown Montreal. The company grew rapidly during the 1920’s and Kraft hired a home economist opening the celebrated Kraft Kitchens to answer consumer mail and develop recipes. When the first cheese advertising appeared from coast-to-coast Kraft became a household name.

Post War Expansion
Following World War II, the company’s name was changed from Kraft Cheese Company to Kraft Foods. The name change reflected its expanding array of food products, with new lines becoming an almost annual event. In order to get product to market, Kraft developed a coast-to-coast sales and distribution system that was regarded as one of the finest in the food industry.

Kraft General Foods
In 1989, Kraft merged with General Foods to form Kraft General Foods.  The new company offered more than 1,000 products to Canadian consumers.

On January 20, 1995, Kraft General Foods was officially re-named Kraft Canada Inc. (KCI). In the US the company was renamed Kraft Foods.

Kraft Continues to Grow
In 2000, Philip Morris Companies, Kraft’s parent company at the time, acquired Nabisco Holdings and integrated the Nabisco brands into Kraft Foods.  One year later, Philip Morris made an initial public offering for Kraft Foods Inc. common stock in the second-largest IPO in U.S. history.  On June 13, 2001, Kraft stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “KFT.”

Kraft Foods Inc. became a fully independent company on March 30, 2007. On April 2, 2007, Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO joined 11 Kraft employees to ring The Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange to mark the first day of trading following the complete spin-off from its parent company.  Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) replaced American International Group Inc. (AIG) in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, effective with the opening of trading on September 22, 2008.
In 2010 Kraft Foods Inc. acquired Cadbury plc for $18.5 billion becoming the world leader in snacks.
In 2012, Kraft Foods Inc. spun off its North American grocery portfolio, which is now known as the Kraft Foods Group.

About Kraft Canada Today
With solid roots in Canada, Kraft Canada’s heritage can be traced back to J.L. Kraft. Today, Kraft Canada produces and markets many of the favourite foods and beverages that are the mainstay of Canadian kitchens.


Kraft Canada is one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the country with an unrivaled portfolio of products people love and a long-standing commitment to contributing to Canadian communities. Kraft Canada's iconic product portfolio spans across 17 categories, with 11 at #1 share and 6 at #2 share. Kraft Canada brands include Cracker Barrel, Philadelphia, Nabob, Kraft Dinner, Kraft Peanut Butter, Kraft Singles, Maxwell House, TASSIMO and Kraft Salad Dressings. Kraft engages directly with Canadian communities through the company's award-winning Kraft Hockeyville and Kraft Project Play (formerly known as Kraft Celebration Tour) programs as well as through its What's Cooking online channels.


As a leading food company in Canada, Kraft Canada is committed to giving back to the communities where our employees live and work. Giving back is an integral part of our culture. We believe everyone deserves good food and beverages. And that's why, at Kraft Canada, we focus our community giving on supporting organizations helping Canadians living with hunger. And to help us make the biggest impact possible, we're teaming up with leading non-profit organizations that specialize in these areas.

In 2014, Kraft Canada donated over $430,000 to support Food Banks Canada and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. Through our relationships in communities coast to coast and employee volunteer initiatives, we also supported a number of food banks (including Daily Bread) and donated over 150,000 pounds of food.

Hunger Relief
To help meet Food Bank Canada's (FBC) mission to increase the capacity needs of food banks coast to coast, Kraft Canada partnered with FBC to create the Capacity Building Fund. Many food banks are capable of acquiring and sharing more fresh food and help more people, but lack sufficient facilities and tools to do so. These food banks need funds for resources like fridges, gas for transportation, shelving for safe food storage and more. Through the Capacity Building Fund, Kraft Canada provides much needed grants to help them meet these needs. In 2014, Kraft Canada assisted 27 food banks.

In 2015, we're partnering with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to launch the Kraft Canada Healthy Habits program. Through this initiative, Kraft Canada will help Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada provide local clubs with programs, resources, training, and funds to:

  • Increase members' access to healthy foods and consumption of fresh foods
  • Provide food to young people over the weekends, when Clubs may not be open
  • Provide opportunities for young people to develop food related skills (including purchasing, preparation of, and nutrition) that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Community Support
Kraft Canada is a longtime supporter of the United Way of Greater Toronto Area and Centraide of Greater Montreal. For decades we have raised money for these organizations through our national campaigns. Its success is dependent on the participation and passion of our employees. In 2014, Kraft Canada colleagues raised nearly $488,000 in support of United Way of Greater Toronto and Centraide Montreal. With our corporate donation, our overall contribution to United Way and Centraide was over $609,548.


Are you interested in a position with Kraft Canada? Click on this link to find out more.

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