Ventura Foods is one slick operator. The company makes and distributes branded and private-label vegetable oil-based products, including bulk salad oils, shortenings, margarine, butter and butter blends, pan coatings, mayonnaises, dressings, and more. It also produces soup and flavor bases and concession items, such as popcorn popping oil. Products are sold to foodservice operators such as Sysco and, less so, other food product manufacturers and retail groceries in the US and abroad. Ventura's core brands are Marie's Dressing, Dean's Dip, Gold 'n Soft margarine, and LouAna oils. The company is a 50-50 joint venture, created in 1996 between US agricultural co-op CHS and Japanese trading conglomerate Mitsui & Co.
For both owners, Ventura is a business with benefits. It is CHS' #1 customer for refined oil products, accounting for almost a quarter of CHS edible soybean oil sales, a key ingredient for most of Ventura's products.
Ventura also serves as a profitable pipeline for Mitsui. The maker of edible oil products is the largest producer and distributor of margarine for the US foodservices industry and among the leading producers of several of its other lines. Products sold in the foodservice marketplace account for approximately 60% of Ventura's sales, by volume; retail brands represent the remaining 40%. A number of products are contract manufactured, proprietary to the company or its customers. Strategically positioned, too, Ventura operates 1l production and distribution facilities across the US. – less