Dairy Products, A California Tradition
Crystal brand dairy
products have been a part of California for over 100 years. Throughout
our history we have remained committed to providing the freshest, local
Founded by George Knox in 1901 we were originally known as Crystal Cream
& Butter. Crystal started in the back of a small grocery store located
at 728 K Street in Sacramento, California. That is where George and Caroline
Knox churned butter. Twenty years later in 1921, Crystal was purchased
by Carl Hansen, a Danish immigrant. When Hansen purchased Crystal, the
products were still limited to butter and cream but in 1931 under Hansen’s
leadership Crystal offered Sacramento its first bottled milk. This was
the beginning of the expansion of Crystal’s family of products to
include such products as cottage cheese, sour cream, ice cream and yogurt.
The Hansen family was recognized as leaders in the dairy industry, pioneering
many new technologies and growing Crystal into one of the last large independent
dairy processors in the state of California. The Hansens ran the company
for 86 years before selling to HP Hood, LLC.
In 2007, family-operated Foster Farms Dairy purchased Crystal bringing
the brand back to its family-owned roots. Foster Farms Dairy was founded
in 1941 by Max and Verda Foster and is still family-owned and operated.
Today the company is led by Jeff Foster, grandson of the founders. Since
becoming part of the Foster Farms Dairy family, the Crystal brand has
continued its century old tradition of providing the highest quality,
freshest, local dairy products. That’s why when it comes to feedng
your family, the choice is clear… Crystal.
The Crystal Brand Through The Years
Crystal Cream & Butter Co. is incorporated by George Gordon
Knox and Associates in San Francisco. The original churning operation
is! at 728 K St. in Sacramento.
1921: The Hansen family buys Crystal. At the time of
purchase, Crystal had 10 employees and two trucks.
1926: Crystal offers milk packaged in glass bottles.
1930: Crystal milk sales surpass butter sales, Crystal
ice cream is introduced.
1939: Crystal introduces milk packaged in waxed cardboard
1941: Crystal changes from a corporation to a partnership.
Carl and his sons, Vernon, Kenneth and Gerald, become equal partners.
1951: Crystal turns 50 and the Crystal Dairy Maid is
1955: Sales top $10 million.
1967: Sales top $20 million.
1970: Sales top $25 million.
1983: Donald K. Hansen named president.
Crystal purchases McColl's Dairy of Redding
1989: Crystal introduces Light & Less Ice Cream
and farm scene logo is introduced.
1996: Crystal moves manufacturing from D Street to
Belvedere Avenue in Sacramento, a new state of the art bottling facility.
2001: Crystal turns 100.
2007: HP Hood LLC of Chelsea, Mass., buys Crystal.
2007: Crystal becomes part of the Foster Farms Dairy
family of brands.
2008: New packaging is introduced on all Crystal dairy
2009: Crystal partners with the American Heart Association.
2010: The choice is clear. Crystal. promotional campaign
2011: Crystal promotes ice cream with billboard campaign
throughout Northern California.