Since 1861. It's all about the recipe. It's no wonder Van Camp's pork & beans are one of America's favorites. Back in 1861, Gilbert Van Camp discovered something great when his wife, Hester, added tomato sauce to an old family recipe. Their son, Frank, perfected the taste by simmering premium ingredients to ensure a rich flavor and unparalleled product consistency. By 1909, Van Camp's was the number one selling pork and bean brand in the United States.