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|Product type||Mustard, condiments, food items|
|Owner||McCormick & Company|
|Previous owners||R.T. French Company|
Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
French's is an American brand of prepared mustard, condiments, fried onions, and other food items. Created by Robert Timothy French, French's "Cream Salad Brand" mustard debuted to the world at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. By 1921, French's Mustard had adopted its trademark pennant and begun advertising to the general public. French's is now owned by McCormick & Company.
Brothers Robert and George French bought a flour mill in 1883 in Fairport, New York. It burned down in 1884 and they relocated the flour mill to Rochester, New York. They named their mill the R.T. French Company. Robert French died in 1893 and brother George became company president. George (who developed the creamy yellow mustard) and another brother, Francis, introduced French's mustard in 1904.
In 1926, French's was sold to J. & J. Colman of the United Kingdom, a company that produced home care products such as Lysol, Reckitt's Blue and Brasso, and its own mustard brand, as well as other products such as the Frank's RedHot condiment line.
In 1928, the Atlantis Sales Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of R. T. French to handle sales and distribution of French's, Reckitt, and Colman products. Atlantis remained a separate entity through the nineteen-fifties
In 1965, French's introduced a new line of "Cattlemen’s" barbecue sauce. The line was inaugurated with the trip of a horse-drawn "chuck wagon" from Buffalo, New York, across upstate New York to New York City and then to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June, 1965.
In 1999, Reckitt & Colman merged with Benckiser NV to form Reckitt Benckiser.
Until 1987, French's headquarters was located at 1 Mustard Street in Rochester, New York. The headquarters is now located in Chester, New Jersey. During its heyday, French's was a sponsor of the local weather forecast, featuring its address prominently in television advertising. They also were a prominent sponsor of the Rochester Red Wings baseball club, often in conjunction with a local brand of hot dogs, Tobin's First Prize. The former headquarters location at 1 Mustard Street is now home to a variety of professional offices and public agencies.
French's also had facilities in Shelley, Idaho, for potato products. A plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania, was constructed in 1957 and closed in the 1990s. A plant in Fresno, California, closed in 1994. Manufacturing operations were consolidated in Springfield, Missouri.
Historically R. T. French may have manufactured a complete line of spices and extracts, condiments, pickle products, sauces and gravy mixes, instant potato products, and pet care products, in particular canary and parakeet seeds. As of 2016, in certain markets French's markets mustards, Worcestershire sauce, a line of mayonnaise-based products, ketchup, barbecue sauce, potato sticks, and fried jalapeños, as well as a line of French's fried onions.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the third or fourth quarter of McCormick’s fiscal year, which ends in November. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.