Juice drink manufacturer Sunny Delight Beverages has signed a deal to purchase the Fruit2O water and Veryfine juice brands from Kraft Foods as it moves towards a more nutritious beverage portfolio.
The companies did not disclose the purchase price, but the two brands were reported to have a combined 2006 turnover of about $135 million.
Along with the brands, Sunny Delight will also take control of the Veryfine plant located in Littleton and Kraft’s packing facility in Fresno, California. About 200 workers employed at the sites will also be transferred to Sunny Delight under the terms of the sale.
Sunny Delight Chief Executive Officer Billy Cyr said that the deal was an important step in targeting the growing number of health-conscious consumers in the soft drinks market. He said: “This acquisition will further accelerate our growth and continue our commitment to bring more wholesome beverage choices to consumers. Fruit2O is the leading zero calorie fruit-flavoured water, and Veryfine has been providing high quality beverages since 1865.”
Kraft said the brands no longer suit its long-term growth strategies: “As we restore Kraft to reliable growth, we’re focusing our investments on the brands that best fit,” said Rick Searer, Kraft Executive Vice President and President of Kraft North America. “Fruit2O and Veryfine are great brands. However, for Kraft, we believe we will create greater long-term shareholder value by selling, rather than investing in, these brands.”
Fruit2O consists of two lines of waters: Fruit2O water is a leading full-fruit flavoured water beverage. It’s made with natural fruit essence and is available in eight flavours: raspberry, strawberry, lemon, grape, orange, peach, cherry and lime. The second line, introduced in early 2007, is Fruit2O vitamin enhanced water and is sold in four varieties: Immunity, Energy, Hydration and Relaxation. Meanwhile, Veryfine offers three lines of beverages: juices and juice drinks, nectars and chillers.
Sunny Delight is a privately held juice company, based in Ohio and created in 2004 with the acquisition of the Sunny Delight brands from Procter & Gamble Co. Today, the company’s flagship brand remains its SunnyD juice drink.
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