The Packer April 17th, 2017 : Cover

2017 2017 17, 17, April April C KER A ACKER AC P P HE HE T T Tabloid insert insert Tabloid SINCE 1893, 1893, THE THE BUSINESS BUSINESS NEWS NEWS SOURCE SOURCE OF OF THE THE PRODUCE PRODUCE INDUSTRY INDUSTRY SINCE CXXIV, No. No. 16 16 CXXIV, APRIL 17, 17, 2017 2017 APRIL Family of of Brands Brands Family ProduceRetailer.com ProduceRetailer.com ProduceMarketGuide.com ProduceMarketGuide.com thepacker.com/fresh-trends thepacker.com/fresh-trends MidwestProducexpo.com MidwestProducexpo.com West CoastProducexpo.com CoastProducexpo.com West By Ashley Nickle Staff Writer Taylor Farms buys minority stake in Crunch Pak Crunch Pak will not change. Wenatchee, Wash.-based Dovex Fruit Co. and its partners, which will supply Taylor Farms with raw fruit product, re-tain their majority stake in Crunch Pak. The company has national accounts, and has been discussing for years the need for regional distribution, said Tony Freytag, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Crunch Pak. Taylor Farms has three facilities that slice apples — in Salinas, Nashville, and Swedesboro, N.J. As the market develops, Crunch Pak will have the opportunity to process and ship from some combination of those facilities as well as its own. Freytag said that even though Crunch Pak products have good shelf life, being closer to customers is im im-portant as the marketplace changes. “People don’t want large invento invento-ries,” Freytag said. “They want to be able to react to changes much faster.” FASTER TO MARKET Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms has agreed to purchase a minority stake in Cashmere, Wash.-based Crunch Pak. The partnership opens up region-al distribution opportunities across the country for Crunch Pak and gives Taylor Farms access to Crunch Pak’s fruit-slicing technology. Crunch Pak has been processing ap-ples at facilities in Cashmere and Se-Se lah, Wash., and in Rosenhayn, N.J. The company produces the majority of its retail packages in Cashmere and does most of its processing for foodser foodser-vice in Selah. The Rosenhayn location handles mostly retail products. As part of the transaction, Taylor Farms CEO Bruce Taylor joins the board of directors of Crunch Pak. Sales, marketing and management roles at The improved proximity to custom custom-ers is expected to increase the compa compa-ny’s speed to market, increase turn and decrease shrink. “We bring leading-edge technology in slicing the best-quality fruit to the table, but we need faster distribution to market,” Crunch Pak president Mau-ro Felizia said in a news release. “In today’s business environment, logistics, innovation and collaboration are important. Our partnership with Taylor Farms will give us that synergy.” While that partnership is still in the early stages, Freytag said the goal is for Crunch Pak to produce at and distribute from some Taylor Farms facilities this fall, in time for back-to-school business. Taylor Farms could be doing some processing in Crunch Pak facilities as well, though that has yet to be deter deter-mined. The companies will collaborate on how to maximize the efficiency of all the facilities. It remains to be seen whether this partnership will lead to Taylor Farms-branded fresh-cut items in the market, Freytag said. Taylor said in the release there’s an opportunity for the company to do more with fresh-cut items. “Our investment in Crunch Pak gives us the fresh fruit-slicing technol-ogy we need to move into that catego-ry,” Taylor said in the release. “We look forward to working close-ly with Crunch Pak as we explore new ways to deliver an unmatched quality of fresh sliced fruit products across a variety of channels.” Taylor Farms plans to provide more information at a later date. The companies plan to meet in Sa-linas the week of April 17 to discuss the details of the new partnership. Taylor Farms uses sliced apples in its Apples & Greens Chef Crafted Salad and in its Healthy Harvest snack pack. By Tom Karst Supervalu to acquire Unified Grocers National Editor Supervalu Inc. and Unified Grocers Inc. are entering into will drive smaller distributors How do you lead the produce a deal where Supervalu will and regional self-distributing re-“The cultural fit between Su Su-acquire Unified Grocers for tailers to take a hard look at their industry for 125 years? cost structure and what they do pervalu and Unified well posi-posi $375 million. The deal will be comprised best and come to the conclusion tions the combined company to Enthusiastic over the details. — on the retail side — that they pursue a shared dedication and of about $114 million in cash obsession in-for 100% of the outstanding should really focus on being commitment to growth and in At Del Monte, we’re fresh fanatics, and that fruit gives us an novation, providing increased stock of Unified Grocers plus merchants, in-value to customers.” the assumption and pay-off of oportunity to add business, in which means we’re also quality fanatics. cluding merger and acquisition Unified Grocers’ net debt of COMBINED SALES about $261 million as of April opportunity,” he said. think Reliability 1, according to Sustainability fanatics. “I The two grocery wholesale this is the be-a news release. ‘I think this is the organizations had combined ginning of The acquisi-fanatics. Full-service fanatics. sales of about $16 billion in 2016. beginning of our our ability tion represents They operate 24 distribution an opportuni-opportuni And to accelerate ability to acceler-we’re even value-added fanatics, centers supplying more than ty for Super Super-the growth ate the growth of 3,000 stores in 46 states. valu to grow our whole-with complete category of management our wholesale The acquisition, unanimous unanimous-its wholesale sale business, ly approved by each company’s business, which we business, Su-Su which we be-and marketing support. board of directors, is expected pervalu presi-presi gan last year.” began last year.’ dent and CEO Gross said to close in mid-to late summer MARK GROSS Mark Gross in the release this year, according to the release, said in an SUPERVALU INC. that Unified’s subject to approval by Unified’s custom-April 11 confer confer-retail mem-shareholders and other custom mem ence call. bers and cus-ary closing conditions. After completion of the deal, “The in-tomers operate whol-frastructure necessary to sup-sup progressive Hispanic and other Unified Grocers will be a whol port a wide variety of different ethnic formats, specialty, gour ly-owned subsidiary of Supervalu. gour-formats is very expensive and met, natural/organic, value-fo-The release said Eden Prai Prai-what you see across the coun-coun cused and traditional stores. rie, Minn.-based Supervalu will try is the challenge of scale,” he pres-The deal will complement Su Su-maintain an important pres said. pervalu’s existing customer base, ence at Unified’s headquarters “I think what we bring in Gross said. Supervalu is a sizable in Commerce, Calif. combining the two companies grocery wholesaler and retailer, By three years after the deal, is that ability to take scale to this with annual sales of $13 billion, the combined business will ben ben-volume so you have right array serving more than 2,000 retail efit from $60 million in cost sav sav-of profitability and support to stores, according to the release. ings, primarily driven by using investment in the business.” “We believe this transaction the scale of the company and func-will benefit the members and consolidation of back-office func BOOSTING WHOLESALE customers of Unified Grocers as tions, according to the release. Supervalu expects to incur Gross said there is more op-they look for new and innova-portunity to grow Supervalu’s tive ways to serve the communi-transition and integration costs ties in which they operate,” Uni-of up to $60 million within the wholesale business. “The ever-growing competi-fied Grocers’ president and CEO first two years following the completion of the transaction. tiveness of the (grocery) business Bob Ling said in the release. WHAT’S INSIDE Pamela Riemenschneider A new group of investors is recommending improvements for Whole Foods Market stores, including management of inventory, product layout, in-store signs and private-label strategy. By Ashley Nickle Staff Writer New investors eye Whole Foods shakeup Changes may be coming for organic-focused retailer Whole Foods Market after investment firm Jana Part-ners and others purchased an 8.8% stake in the company. Together, Jana and five individual investors with varying degrees of retail experience bought nearly 28 million shares for about $720 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The individuals investing along with Jana: u Glenn Murphy, former CEO of Harris Teeter Super Super-markets; u Meredith Adler, former Barclays analyst and consul-tant in the food and retail sectors; and u Mark Bittman, a food writ-er and Columbia University faculty member focusing on food policy. The group plans to talk with the Whole Foods board of directors about the com-pany’s “chronic underper underper-formance for shareholders” and changes to the board of directors and senior leader leader-Russell Hanlin Sr., former president and CEO of Sunkist Growers, died April 11 at age 84. Hanlin, elected President Emeritus of Sunkist at his retirement in 1998, was president and CEO for 20 years. Story, A2 CEO of Gap; u Diane Dietz, former ex-ecutive vice president and chief marketing officer of Safeway; u Thomas Dickson, former ship, according to the filing. The investors cited as “core operating deficien-cies” the areas of analytics, customer loyalty, technolo-gy, category management, procurement, pricing and online offerings. The group described the company’s grocery pro-curement and distribution strategy as “suboptimal and cost-disadvantaged.” Also targeted for im-provement were manage-ment of inventory, product layout, in-store signs and private-label strategy. Jana has also contracted with Dietz and Bittman as consultants to provide anal-ysis of Whole Foods. Whole Foods stock jumped about 10% the day of the filing that announced Jana Partners and its group as new investors. WHAT’S INSIDE FRESHDELMONTE.COM 1-800-950-3683 FRUITS.COM @DelMonteFreshProduce @DelMonteFresh @DelMonteFresh A new leader Smaller apples, ©2017 Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. DelMonteFresh for TIPA bigger prices Story, A3 Crops & Markets, A9 ProduceOps, A12 New standard for RPC labels Flavor clinches sales Melons Marketing, A13 California Cherries, B1 Good crop on tap Convention Preview, C1 CPMA returns to Toronto

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