Basic American Foods caters to your basic meat-and-potatoes type of guy. The company makes dehydrated potato products (varieties include au gratin, hash brown, mashed, and scalloped) under such brands as Hungry Jack, Nana's Own, Potato Pearls, Nature's Own, Redi-Shred, and WHIPP. It also produces Santiago brand refried and black beans as well as Quick-Start chili mixes. Basic American Foods has processing plants across the US and international operations in Mexico City and Hong Kong. The company's customers include foodservice distributors and operators, industrial food manufacturers, wholesale clubs, and supermarkets. In 2010 Basic American Foods sold its Naturally Potatoes refrigerated potato business.
Naturally Potatoes was purchased by an investor group led by the Libra Foundation, a Maine-based charitable group focused on growing the state's farming economy. Basic American Foods' departure from refrigerated potato products allows the company to focus on its higher-demand shelf-stable offerings. In addition to shelf-stable foods being a bigger seller, Basic American believes the category offers greater growth opportunities through new and improved product introductions.
Diversifying its sales channels has also been key. In 2010 the company expanded its retail presence with the purchase of Smucker's Hungry Jack and Idaho Spuds branded potato businesses. (The Hungry Jack pancake mix and syrup products were not part of the sale.) The purchase widened Basic American Foods' revenue possibilities as its portfolio was mainly composed of dehydrated products for foodservice customers.
Basic American Foods was founded in 1933 by brothers Jack and Bill Hume. Today it is still led by Jack's sons.