La Choy is a brand name of canned and prepackaged American Chinese food ingredients. The brand was purchased in 1990 from Beatrice Foods by ConAgra Foods during the LBO firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts' dismantling of the company and is still currently a property of ConAgra. La Choy was founded in 1922 by Dr. Ilhan New , later founder of Yuhan Corporation in South Korea; and Wally Smith from the University of Michigan. The first product, canned mung bean sprouts, was originally sold in Smith's Detroit, Michigan, grocery store. New left the company for personal reasons in 1930. Smith was killed by lightning in 1937. Regardless, the company flourished. By the late 1930s, management at the firm had developed a comprehensive line of food products, including bean sprouts, soy sauce, subgum, kumquats, water chestnuts, brown sauce, bamboo shoots, and chow mein noodles.
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