More than 100 Years of Premium Quality
Founded in 1905, the Hebrew National Kosher Sausage Factory, Inc., served the Jewish immigrant neighborhoods of New York City from its original location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
A Romanian immigrant butcher who began his career peddling meat from the back of a horse-drawn wagon, Isadore Pinckowitz (later known as Isadore Pines) bought the Hebrew National Kosher Sausage Factory in 1928. He began selling kosher sausages and hot dogs to many of New York's deli restaurants and for Waldbaum's, the city's largest grocery chain catering to Jewish households.
In 1935, Isadore's son Leonard took over the business. During the '40s, Hebrew National® broke into the newly booming suburban market by creating products especially for supermarkets. In the process, the company became the industry leader, demonstrating that kosher foods appealed to a much wider base than just ethnic markets and consumers.
"A Higher Authority" Slogan Debuts
In the 1960s, the company—along with the nation—saw many changes. At the dawn of this decade the company moved to Maspeth, Queens, and changed its name to Hebrew National Kosher Foods, Inc. In 1965, Hebrew National hot dogs launched the "We Answer to a Higher Authority" ad campaign. The slogan quickly became a symbol for quality, appealing to Jews and non-Jews alike.
A Family Business... and Back Again
In 1968, Houston-based Riviana Foods purchased the thriving Hebrew National Company, and for a period of 12 years, the company's association with the Pines family ceased. In 1976, Riviana Foods was purchased by Colgate-Palmolive Company. In 1980, Isidore "Skip" Pines, Leonard's son, repurchased the company from Colgate-Palmolive. The company was once again a family business.
Growing the Brand
Skip Pines expanded the Hebrew National product line, and its consumer base, by recognizing that kosher foods would appeal to the country's growing interest in more nutritious, flavorful foods. Hebrew National kosher meats do not contain:
- Artificial coloring
- Artificial flavoring, or
To the Bronx and Beyond
In 1985, the company's headquarters and distribution center moved to the Bronx. The following year, Hebrew National established a meat processing plant in Indianapolis. Also in 1986, in order to incorporate newly acquired brands, Hebrew National became known as National Foods.
Hebrew National Today
Hebrew National is a brand of ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG). With a workforce of 500 people in the United States, Hebrew National remains one of the leading kosher meat processor in the world. Best known for its beef franks, the brand also processes and distributes other premium quality products. The Hebrew National portfolio includes:
- Deli meats
Hebrew National produces both bulk and consumer packaged products.