Grace Kennedy USA strengthens US partnerships

President and CEO of GraceKennedy USA LLC, Michael Ranglin.

In keeping with Grace Kennedy’s 2020 campaign map to become a global consumer group and to grow exports significantly, the company has acquired the assets of USA food business, La Fe Foods Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC. La Fe Foods Inc. was established in 1968, and currently has revenues of approximately US$80 million. The company will now have distribution operations in Moonachie, New Jersey; Miami, Florida and Forest Park, Georgia for the Grace Foods line and also the La Fe brand, one of the largest brands in the Hispanic frozen foods and grocery markets.

“This acquisition represents a major step for us, and will be the platform for the growth of Grace Kennedy’s North American business going forward” said Grace Kennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby.

Earlier this month, Grace Kennedy also announced a penetrative distribution deal with American beverage giant AriZona Beverages USA, LLC. This agreement gives AriZona the rights to distribute the Grace Beverage line to convenience stores, independents and on premise locations – including restaurants and bars – across New York and New Jersey, expanding Grace’s reach beyond traditional Caribbean and Hispanic trade outlets and into mainstream urban retailers in the northeast. GraceKennedy USA LLC will continue to distribute Grace Beverages directly to the major retail chains in the northeast such as Wal-Mart, Pathmark, Stop and Shop, ShopRite and others.

The acquisition of La Fe and the distribution deal with AriZona Beverages mark a major milestone for the company’s growth in the U.S.

“When we acquired La Fe, one of our top agenda items was the expansion of our beverage distribution in the USA,” said Wehby.

“AriZona is one of the most successful distributors of beverages in the New York Metro market and presents a huge opportunity to grow our business. The interest from AriZona is also confirmation that our investment in our brands over the years is well recognized by our consumers and key players in the trade. This deal literally has the potential to double our beverage numbers over the next two years. The deal is barely a month old and already we are seeing an increase in our beverage sales.”

AriZona Beverages USA, LLC, based in Woodbury, New York, is a multi-billion dollar company, which makes AriZona Iced Tea, flavored waters, juices, coffees, energy drinks and powdered tea mixes. AriZona is the leader in hot-filled beverages for the United States, and its iced tea is also the top-selling ready-to-drink tea in the United States. With this distribution partnership, the company will now distribute Grace Tropical Rhythms, the Grace Aloe Drink line, as well as Grace Coconut Water for GraceKennedy USA LLC.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Grace Beverages and expand both of our businesses domestically and internationally,” said Don Vultaggio, Chairman AriZona Beverages. “We look forward to a long and successful business relationship.”

Commenting on the deal, President and CEO of GraceKennedy USA LLC, Michael Ranglin, said, “When the opportunity to work with AriZona was presented to us, we acted on it because we know it will give us the chance to build-out our beverages across the urban northeastern areas, while Grace Kennedy USA LLC continues to distribute our beverages to the major retail chains that we’ve been working with for many years.”

Grace Kennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby.

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