Skip to Content

Quaker Oats Company

« Back to Glossary Index

**History and Evolution**:
– Founded in the 1850s by Ferdinand Schumacher and Robert Stuart.
– Quaker Mill Company established in 1877.
– Acquired by Henry Parsons Crowell in 1881.
– Merged to form the American Cereal Company in 1888.
– Officially became Quaker Oats Company in 1901.
– Notable milestones include introducing Quaker Quick Oats in the 1920s.
– Logo redesigns in 1946, 1957, 1969, and 2012.
– Acquisitions and spin-offs like Fisher-Price, Louis Marx, and Stokely-Van Camp.
– Land giveaways in cereal boxes and tie-ins with media like ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’.
PepsiCo acquisition in 2001 for $14 billion primarily for Gatorade.

**Operations and Facilities**:
– Major Canadian production facility in Peterborough, Ontario.
– Factory fire in 1916 causing casualties and damages.
– Acquisitions like Great Western Cereal Company and Stokely-Van Camp.
– Product recalls in 2023-2024 due to contamination issues.
– Closure of the Barrington research site.
– International trade sites and acquisitions like Ardmore Farms.

**Legal and Ethical Issues**:
– Controversies related to experiments on disabled children from 1946 to 1953.
– Class-action lawsuit in 2010 for marketing products with trans fat as healthy.
– Settlements related to radiation exposure and trans fat labeling.
– Association with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
– Ethical concerns raised regarding research practices.

**Products and Market Presence**:
– Brands like Capn Crunch, Life cereal, and Chewy Granola Bars.
– Brand consolidation and growth after the PepsiCo acquisition.
– Diverse product range in the US market.
– Health concerns regarding trans fat and chemical content in oat-based foods.
– Settlements with MIT and on trans fat labeling.

**Media and Cultural Impact**:
– Influence of historical advertisements and media coverage.
– Connection with the Dionne Quintuplets story.
– Evolution of the Quaker Oats brand identity.
– Actor Wilford Brimley’s appearances in commercials.
– Various tie-ins with popular culture and media over the years.

The Quaker Oats Company (/ˈkwkər ts/), known as Quaker, is an American food conglomerate based in Chicago, Illinois. As Quaker Mill Company, the company was founded in 1877 in Ravenna, Ohio. In 1881, Henry Crowell bought the company and launched a national advertising campaign for Quaker Oats.

The Quaker Oats Company
Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedSeptember 4, 1877; 146 years ago (1877-09-04) (as Quaker Mill Company)
Ravenna, Ohio, United States
FounderHenry Parsons Crowell
Headquarters555 West Monroe Street, ,
Area served
Key people
Robbert Rietbroek (Senior Vice President & General Manager)
  • Oats
  • Oatmeal (Porridge)
  • Cereal
  • Snacks

In 1911, the company acquired the Great Western Cereal Company. The iconic cylindrical package was introduced in 1915. Although Quaker Oats Company claims that the "Quaker man" is not meant to resemble or represent an actual person, the company identified the Quaker man as William Penn in advertising dating back to 1909.

In 1983, Quaker acquired Stokely-Van Camp, Inc., the maker of Van Camp's and Gatorade. In 2001, PepsiCo bought Quaker Oats for $14 billion, primarily to acquire the Gatorade brand.

« Back to Glossary Index