Del Monte acquisition expands U.S. business

Del Monte Foods Inc. has completed the acquisition of Siloam Springs, AR-based Sager Creek Vegetable Co.'s assets for $75 million. Sager Creek has generated annual revenue of approximately $250 million. fromonte

Sager Creek Vegetable Co., formerly known as Allens Inc., is a producer of specialty vegetables for the foodservice and retail markets. It manufactures well-known brands, including "Veg-all," "Freshlike," "Popeye," "Princella," "Trappey's" and "Allens."

"This acquisition provides Del Monte the opportunity to expand on Sager Creek's Foodservice business platform and new retail product offerings while driving significant operating synergies in our network of vegetable production facilities," Nils Lommerin, chief executive officer of Del Monte Foods, said in a press release.

Sager Creek acquired the business of Allens Inc. in a bankruptcy proceeding in 2014. Allens was founded in 1926 and owned and operated by multiple generations of the Allen family.

"On behalf of our associates, we are honored and proud to become a part of the Del Monte family," Chris Kiser, chief executive of Sager Creek, said in the release.

Associated Food Stores names food-safety director

Associated Food Stores, an independent retailer-owned warehouse based in Salt Lake City, which provides complete warehouse facilities and services to more than 400 grocers throughout the Mountain West region, has named Malinda Boothe director of food safety.

Boothe will be responsible for developing and implementing a dynamic food-safety and compliance program for Associated Food Stores’ members, ensuring each one remains compliant with government food-safety regulations.

“I am excited to be part of the team and want to make AFS the industry leader in food safety,” Boothe said in a statement. “Many changes are occurring within the food-safety environment and my primary goal is to ensure our retail members are extremely progressive in protecting their customers and teams.”

Boothe previously served as the director of compliance for A&Z Produce in Salt Lake City and held several management positions in loss prevention and food safety at Supervalu stores throughout the Intermountain West.

“We are excited to welcome Malinda to the AFS team and know she will do great things with the food-safety program,” said Bob King, vice president of member retail operations and government affairs for AFS. “We are positive our retailers will find her expertise and knowledge incredibly valuable.”

Tanimura & Antle goes back to the basics with old logo

Tanimura & Antle has recently decided to go back to its original T leaf A logo, which has been reintroduced as a mainstay behind the premier West Coast lettuce house.tla The company said the reintroduction of this logo represents a continued dedication to the foundation of the partnership of two iconic farming families, and it manifests T&A’s core values: natural, sustainable, fresh and premier vegetables.

“Our partners in the produce industry have always considered us just as T&A," Mike Antle, executive vice president, said in a press release.ParsleyPing-236x300 "Our original logo has always been known as a premium pack and will always be etched in our minds as such. So, why not bring it back?"

Other family member owners, including Gary Tanimura, executive vice president, agreed, saying, “Throughout our growing regions and since the beginning of our partnership, the original T leaf A logo is all I can remember.”

The transition back to the original logo and return to the brand’s roots and authenticity has already started to roll out with new items, such as the Field Fresh Parsley and Field Fresh Italian Parsley. The vintage T&A logo will hit grocery store shelves and return to all packaging throughout 2015.

S. Katzman Produce in contract to buy Morris Okun’s units on Hunts Point

S. Katzman Produce Inc., a leading full-line produce house located on Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, NY, is under contract with Morris Okun Inc., also located on Hunts Point, to purchase Okun’s 16 units on the market.

Stefanie Katzman, fourth-generation family member at S. Katzman, told The Produce News that Katzman currently has 21 units in rows on A, B and D at the market.

“Okun’s row B stores would add another 16 units to S. Katzman,” she said.

Word at the market on March 11 was that the contract was announced at a market meeting the day before. Thomas Cignarella, president of Morris Okun, concurred, saying he was aware of the contract.

$8.2 billion merger extended

Sysco Corp. has extended the deadline for its merger with US Foods. The initial deadline, March 8, was pushed back 60 days to May 7, two days after a hearing on the Federal Trade Commission’s claim that the deal would violate the antitrust laws.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the May 5 trial will determine if there is a temporary injunction on the deal before the FTC’s administrative trial begins July 21, two-and-a-half months after the merger’s new deadline.

The $8.2 billion merger was initially announced in December of 2013, but the FTC claims that the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition nationwide and in 32 local markets for broadline foodservice distribution services.

The FTC alleges that if the merger goes forward as proposed, foodservice customers, including restaurants, hospitals, hotels and schools, would likely face higher prices and diminished service than would be the case but for the merger.

“This proposed merger would eliminate significant competition in the marketplace and create a dominant national broadline foodservice distributor,” Debbie Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, previously said. “Consumers across the country, and the businesses that serve them, benefit from the healthy competition between Sysco and U.S. Foods, whether they eat at a restaurant, hotel or a hospital.”