Ore-Ida is an American brand of potato-based frozen foods currently produced and distributed by the H. J. Heinz Company.
In 1934, Mormon entrepreneurs F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg began growing sweet corn in eastern Oregon. Their first company, Grigg Brothers, became the largest distributor of sweet corn in the United States. In 1949, with financial backing from their brother-in-law Otis Williams, the brothers rented a frozen food plant located in Ontario, at the border with Idaho, and converted it into potato-processing facility. The three purchased the facility around 1952 after the plant went into foreclosure. The company was officially founded that year as the Oregon Frozen Foods Company.
The company initially produced and sold frozen corn and French fries. In 1953, Nephi, Golden, and Otis developed Tater Tots, bite-sized “logs” formed from seasoned slivers of potatoes, which were leftovers from French fry production. Tater Tots are today considered the brand’s most well known product.
In 1960, the company built a second plant in Idaho at Burley, where some of their potato fields were located. The company’s name is a syllabic abbreviation of the first few letters of Oregon and Idaho and the original logo consisted of the outlines of Oregon and Idaho with Ore-Ida superimposed in italicized letters.
After going public in 1961, the Ore-Ida brand was acquired by the H. J. Heinz Company in 1965. The Heinz company coined Ore-Ida’s long time advertising slogan: “When it says Ore-Ida, it’s All Righta.”
McCain Foods purchased Ore-Ida’s foodservice division in 1997, acquiring five of the company’s plants, including the Burley location. Ore-Ida’s division headquarters were located in Boise until 1999, when a new frozen foods division was created based at Heinz’s corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.