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The Really Cool Food Co. LLC, a leading natural and organic prepared foods company, and Renaissance Food Group LLC, a leader in the distribution and production of fresh value-added fruits and vegetables, have announced a merger that will offer retailers and consumers a broad selection of the freshest prepared and value-added fresh foods available.

Renaissance Food Group will lead the sales and marketing team for the combined companies and will additionally utilize a network of production facilities and distribution centers strategically located across the country. The merger will combine the innovation, talents and proprietary technologies of both companies and will create a menu of nutritious and convenient meal solutions utilizing four brands: "Garden Highway-Chef Essentials," "Really Cool Foods," "Garden Highway" and "Kitchen 1836."

"The combined strengths of the two companies provide a real answer to the industry for delivering fresh food at its best," Michael Recanati, founder and chief executive officer of The Really Cool Food Co. said in a June 15 press release. "The demand continues to grow for solutions, and this merger will ensure grocery retailers and specialty food stores and foodservice providers will have the absolute freshest prepared entrees and side dishes for their shoppers to enjoy."

The Renaissance Food Group has developed a strong reputation with premier retailers to provide quality fresh-cut fruits, vegetables and creative value- added produce options. The expansion into the "Garden Highway-Chef Essentials" brand has provided an innovative line of recipe-ready ingredients and side dishes positioned to cross promote and create a destination within the store.

"Retailers continue to demand a solution to fresh, high-quality foods for their shoppers," Jim Catchot, president and CEO of Renaissance Food Group, said in the release. "Now with The Really Cool Food Company, we can significantly expand the menu of items offered. Our logistics and distribution channels provide retailers a wide choice of prepared foods within a short order cycle."

By minimizing food miles with this new distribution network, retailers can offer a variety of choices that are fresher for their shoppers' busy lifestyles, the release said. This full-line solution combined with well-established distribution and delivery channels will create a significant shopping experience that is unmatched in the prepared foods sector.