No snickering about the name -- Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) is serious about making breads, cakes, and cookies. Its name is a shortened version of the Spanish word bambino, or small child; growing up, the US subsidiary of Mexico's baking behemoth Grupo Bimbo secures a big presence in the states. It operates through more than 30 bakeries and boasts 7,000-plus distribution routes. Other goods manufactured and marketed by BBU include tortillas, bagels, English muffins, pizza crust, and a variety of snacks. Its bakeries sell the lineup under a slew of name brands; among them, Bimbo, Boboli, Mrs Baird's, Oroweat, Old Country, Weber's, Francisco, Tia Rosa, and Marinela. BBU accounts for about 40% of Grupo Bimbo's sales.
In a move to further its reach, parent Grupo Bimbo in late 2011 acquired Sara Lee's North American bakery business for $709 million. The purchase added more than 40 plants and some 4,700 distribution routes. Grupo Bimbo also gained the rights to use the Sara Lee brand name globally for fresh-baked goods, with the exception of Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
More significant, BBU's parent company in 2009 acquired the US' Weston Foods for about $2.5 billion in cash, adding the well-known Arnold, Brownberry, Entenmann's, Freihofer, Stroehmann, and Thomas' brands to BBU's product portfolio. In addition to its own brands, BBU manufactures products for other company. It is licensed to distribute Roman Meal, Sun-Maid, Cinnabon, and Milton's brand name breads. – less