Ready Pac Foods is marking its 45th anniversary this year.

A timeline of company milestones and innovations is on the Irwindale, Calif.-based shipper’s website.

Dennis Gertmenian founded Ready Pac in 1969 after his family’s business got an urgent order for ready-to-eat salads from its largest customer. He bought knives, cutting boards and a bathtub for washing the produce to prepare and deliver the salads.

Ready Pac’s history includes:

  • Development of European salad blend products;
  • Pillow packs for bagged salads;
  • Proprietary packaging;
  • Recycled plastic packaging; and
  • Solar power use at processing plants.

“We are working as a team to find new ways to bring our fresh foods to completely new arenas,” Tristan Simpson, senior director of marketing and corporate communications, said in a news release.

“That’s precisely how we became the first company to introduce a single serve complete salad in 2001 with our Ready Pac Bistro Bowl salads.”

Single-serve salads are now the fastest-growing salad segment in the packaged salad market today, according to the company.