Historic milestones and passionate flavor discoveries.

McCormick Flavors

Through every milestone in McCormick’s history, there’s a common thread: We keep pushing to raise the art, science and passion of flavor to a higher level—and improving the universal experience of eating.

The Beginning

  1. Founder Willoughby McCormick

    1889Basement Beginnings: Founder Willoughby M. McCormick and three young workers start the company in a cellar and sell their flavors and extracts door to door.

  2. 1896In the Spice Business: We issue our first McCormick's Cookbook and purchase F.G. Spice Company of Philadelphia.

  3. 1904The Great Recovery: The Great Baltimore Fire destroys all our material assets and records. Willoughby writes a letter to his mother in VA detailing the devastation and his job possibilities in NYC, but his commitment to his employees inspires him to rebuild. The rebuilt House of McCormick on Concord Street is up and running within 10 months. The experience gives Willoughby a new appreciation for creating his own brands.

  4. 1910PURE LEADERSHIP: Willoughby helps found the Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) to drive the enactment of purity laws during a time of alarming levels of food tainting and tampering.

  5. Baltimore Location

    1921New House of McCORMICK: Our landmark building in Baltimore—the largest steel and concrete structure south of New York City—houses 12.5 acres of "daylight floor space," a printing plant, an analytical lab, a mechanic shop, an assembly hall cafeteria and private railroad siding, among other things.

Charles P. McCORMICK Makes His Mark

  1. Charles P. McCormick

    1932The Next McCORMICK: Willoughby McCormick dies at age 69. His nephew Charles "CP" McCormick is elected president at age 36.

  2. 1932MULTIPLE MANAGEMENT BEGINNINGS: C.P. calls the first meeting of his new Junior Board, which later becomes the Multiple Management Board and creates the President's Award to honor employees.

  3. 1933Changes at Work: In the middle of the Depression, wages are raised, hours are cut, profit sharing begins and a formal Multiple Management Board is launched. C.P. starts the tradition of giving out turkeys on Thanksgiving, and puts an Open Door Policy into effect. Plus he changes the name of Human Resources to Human Relations.

  4. 1933Early Marketing Innovation: A model grocery store is opened in the office to recreate a store setting, which allows employees to experiment with displays.

  5. 1934Friendship Court: The entire floor of the Light Street Building is designed to replicate a 16th century Elizabethan street filled with Baltimore architect Edwin Tunis' murals depicting spice trade story.

  6. Light Street Building

    1938Spreading the Word: C.P. McCormick publishes the book Multiple Management, which evolves to become The Power of People: the Story of Multiple Management.

  7. 1940Recognizing Character: McCormick's Unsung Heroes program is started to honor Baltimore-area high school boys (and later girls) who are role models.

  8. 1941Giving Back: Charity Day is started to help employees donate money to charities by working overtime and having their pay and a company match donated to worthy causes.


  1. 1947Coast-to-coast Flavor: Acquisition of Schilling of San Francisco—the largest spice business west of the Mississippi—makes McCormick a U.S. industry leader.

  2. 1947International Expansion Era Begins: McCormick joins the Hernandez family to form McCormick de Mexico to produce and distribute McCormick products.

  3. 1953Major Purchase: The company buys Ben-Hur Products, Inc.—a major Los Angeles-based spice, coffee and tea business.

  4. 1958South American Expansion: The company launches McCormick de Venezuela, C.A. joint venture.

  5. 1959Northern Expansion: Gorman Eckert—Canada's largest spice firm—is acquired and later becomes Club House Foods.

  6. McCormick Gourmet Line

    1959Fancier Flavor: The company adds a gourmet line to U.S. portfolio.

  7. 1961JUST ADD GARLIC: Gilroy Foods of Gilroy, California, "Garlic Capital of the World," is purchased and becomes a wholly owned subsidiary.

  8. 1961British Flavor: McCormick Foods U.K. is established in London, England.

  9. 1964European Expansion: McCormick GmbH—a wholly owned subsidiary in West Germany—is established to distribute and sell McCormick products throughout the European Common market.

  10. 1966More Flavor Down Under: McCormick establishes a sales operation in Australia.

  11. 1967More Expansion: Schilling Division in San Francisco moves to a new 270,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Salinas, CA on 21 acres. Lion Dentifrice Company of Tokyo is licensed to sell in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

  12. 1968

    1968Central America: McCormick products are manufactured in El Salvador and distributed throughout the Central American Common Market through McCormick de Centro America.

  13. 1981Industrial-strength Flavor: McCormick acquires Stange Company of Chicago, a maker of flavorings for industrial customers.

  14. 1984Big Buys: McCormick makes its largest acquisition to date: Paterson Jenks, a publicly held United Kingdom corporation that later becomes a part of McCormick U.K. The company also acquires Schwartz®, the United Kingdom's largest spice business.

  15. 1984SATISFIED EMPLOYEES: McCormick is listed in the book 100 Best Companies to Work for in America.

  16. 1986Cleaner Energy: McCormick breaks ground for Gilroy Foods cogeneration project.

  17. 1987Recognition and Sales Milestones: The Unsung Heroes program is expanded to include female honorees. We hit $1 billion in sales.

  18. 1989McCORMICK TURNS 100: McCormick celebrates its centennial year with a series of events and employee-focused activities. In recognition of our anniversary we produce an historic cookbook entitled The 100 Best Recipes for 100 Years from McCormick.

  19. Purchase of Old Bay

    1990OLD BAY: McCormick acquires OLD BAY from Hansen Industries.

  20. 1991Cultural Expansion: McCormick purchases Mojave authentic Hispanic products for U.S. consumers.

  21. 1993GOLDEN ACQUISITION: McCormick acquires Golden Dipt Company.

  22. International Acquisitions

    1994International Acquisitions
    • Grupo Pesa, a Mexican seasoning company is acquired.
    • McCormick and PT Rodamus of Jakarta start a joint venture, PT McCormick Indonesia.
    • McCormick acquires Tuko Oy of Finland.
    • The company begins a new joint venture, AVT McCormick Ingredients Private Limited with A.V. Group Companies of Madras, India.
    • The company acquires Butty of Switzerland, the herb and spice division of Lipton-Sais.
    • McCormick U.K. enters foodservice business with the purchase of Noel Holdings, Ltd.

  23. 1995More Globe-spanning Purchases: McCormick Australia acquires Aeroplane, an iconic Aussie jelly brand.
    • The company announces plans to build a second plant in China (Guangzhou).

  24. 2000French Flavor and New Innovations: McCormick acquires Ducros of France, the largest spice business in Europe.
    • The company opens a new Culinary Center as a future forum for product solutions.

  25. Zatarain's

    2003Jazzed-up Flavor: McCormick acquires Zatarain's, the leading New Orleans-style food brand in the U.S.

  26. 2006The company purchases Epicurean International assets, which include Thai Kitchen® and Simply Asia® brands.

  27. Lawry's

    2008SWEET INVESTMENTS: The company purchases Billy Bee Honey brand of Canada for $75 million and finishes a deal to purchase Lawry's® from Unilever for $605 million—our biggest acquisition to date.

  28. 2010Thank You: McCormick is included on Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

  29. 2011ACQUISITIONS AND VENTURES: The company purchases Kamis in Poland, Kitchen Basics in the U.S. and starts a joint venture with Kohinoor in India.

  30. Zero Energy Consumption

    2011Zero Energy Consumption: The McCormick Distribution Center building establishes solar power and becomes one of the largest commercial structures in the U.S. to achieve net zero status

  31. 2014Flavor Turns 125: McCormick is planning something big for its 125th anniversary: to share 1.25 million of the world’s tastiest stories depicting the universal passion of flavor. For every one of these stories, McCormick will make a contribution toward getting healthy food to people who need it the most.

  32. 2015Notable Achievements

    The company has $4.3 billion in sales with facilities in more than 50 locations in 26 countries. CCI efforts achieved $98 million in savings this year. McCormick celebrates the 75th year of its Unsung Heroes program.

  33. 2015Acquisition News

    McCormick acquires 100% of Brand Aromatics, a supplier of natural savory flavors, marinades, and broth and stock concentrates to the packaged food industry.

    • The Drogheria and Alimentari acquisition expands our presence in Italy.

    • The U.S. grilling portfolio welcomes One World Foods, seller of Stubb’s barbeque sauces.

Current Flavor News:

  1. 2016Healthy Start to the Year

    Australia Nutrition pyramid and the U.S Dietary Guidelines include spices and herbs, for the first time, as a way to reduce sodium.

  2. 2016Global Expansion

    McCormick acquires the Botanical Food Company, a global leader in chilled convenient herbs, under the Gourmet Garden brand name.