The Growth of Imperial Sugar Company
The Imperial Sugar Company was a privately owned cane sugar refinery with one facility located in Sugar Land, Texas until 1988 when Imperial Sugar acquired publicly held Holly Sugar Corporation, a beet processor headquartered in Colorado Springs. With that acquisition, Imperial Sugar more than doubled in size and became a marketer of both cane and beet sugar.
In 1996, Imperial acquired Spreckels Sugar Company of California, a West Coast beet sugar company. In 1997 Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc., headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, the second largest sugar refiner in the industry, was acquired and as was the case with the Holly acquisition, the Company again more than doubled in size, becoming the largest processor and refiner of sugar in the United States.
Savannah Foods & Industries, Inc. had acquired Michigan Sugar, a beet sugar producer in Saginaw, Michigan in 1984, Great Lakes Sugar, in 1985 and Colonial Sugar Refinery located in Gramercy, Louisiana in 1986. The acquisition of Savannah Foods made Imperial Holly the first truly national sugar refiner and marketer in the country. In 2002 Imperial sold Michigan Sugar Company and its Worland, Wy. beet facility to grower cooperatives and will continue to market the sugar refined by these facilities. In October 2002, Imperial sold its beet facilities in the Rocky Mountains to American Crystal Sugar Company. With access to production and distribution facilities throughout the United States, Imperial markets five of the country's leading consumer sugar brands: Imperial®, Dixie Crystals® and Holly® Additionally, Imperial supplies sugar and sweetener products to industrial food manufacturers coast to coast.
|Imperial Sugar's refining complex in Sugar Land, Texas, has the capacity to process raw sugar at a rate of up to 4 million pounds per day.||In the mid-1800's, farmers produced sugar by using horse-powered mills to grind area-grown sugar cane; they cooked the cane juice in open-air boiling pans. Sugar continues to be produced at this same site; however, today the site is known as the thriving city of Sugar Land, Texas.||In 1843, Samuel May Williams' sugar crop on Oakland Plantation (the present-day site of Imperial Sugar Company) and the crops of other nearby farms were large enough to justify building a commercial raw sugar mill. Cane stalks were cut and loaded into horse-drawn wagons and carted to the mill.|