No other company in the dairy industry has had so many different stories to tell in the past three years.

David Phillips, Chief Editor

The odds of the Boston Red Sox coming back from a three-game American League Championship Series deficit against the arch-rival New York Yankees were long. The odds of the team winning eight in a row while going on to sweep the World Series must have been astronomical.

But the odds were actually in favor of Boston's hometown dairy company being recognized by Dairy Foods twice in three years. The Red Sox beat the odds by a mile. HP Hood was simply the odds-on favorite for our Processor of the Year.

No other company in the dairy industry has had so many different stories to tell in the past three years. Hood continues to grow through the business acumen of the Kaneb family, and continues to find its place in the evolving national food marketplace. It continues to offer innovative products, some of them anticipating major changes in consumer trends, some of them aimed at exploiting what might be referred to as large niche opportunities.

More than 150 years after it was founded as a milk delivery route, HP Hood is still deeply rooted in Boston, and still closely identified with New England. Hood is supportive of the New England communities it does business in, and it is active in dairy industry organizations.

Three years ago the company was reaping the benefits of its investment in a state-of the-art plant and had just inked a licensing deal to become a coast-to-coast marketer of Lactaid, one of those large niche brands. This year it has simply consummated the acquisition of Crowley and Kemps, continued the roll out its Carb Countdown product line, and forged a partnership with Stonyfield Farm that will allow it to re-enter the organic milk market.

We are thrilled that Blue Ridge Paper nominated Hood for this year's recognition, and that we received a consensus from our editorial advisory board. Congratulations to HP Hood!

Processor of the Year Criteria

Dairies are nominated by suppliers, staff and our editorial advisory board. Criteria are:
  • Financial and management success.
  • Market leadership (including new product development, marketing and innovations that spur the industry).
  • Industry service.
  • Commitment to quality.

Past Recipients of Dairy Foods' Processor of the Year

2003 Stonyfield Farm
2002 Marigold Foods
2001 HP Hood
2000 Leprino Foods
1999 Suiza Foods
1998 Dean Foods
1997 Mid-American Dairymen
1996 Agropur Cooperative
1995 Good Humor-Breyers
1994 Darigold
1993 Anderson Erickson
1992 Ault Foods
1991 Dean Foods
1990 Wells' Dairy
1989 Wessanen USA (tie)
Land O' Lakes (tie)
1988 Mid-American Dairymen
1987 Borden
1986 Southland Dairies Group
1985 Mayfield Dairy Farms
1984 Land O' Lakes
1983 Kroger Co.
1982 Mid-American Dairymen
1981 Knudsen Corp.
1980 Dean Foods