LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, Mass. (Business Wire) — Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., a grower-owned agricultural cooperative, today announced it has acquired the cranberry processing business of Agrícola Cran Chile Limitada (Cran Chile) based in Lanco, Región de los Ríos, Chile. The acquisition will expand Ocean Spray’s multinational footprint and establish a sizable Cooperative presence in an important cranberry growing region. Cran Chile will retain its world-class cranberry growing operation and its raspberry and blueberry juice concentrate business.
“Ocean Spray is proud to welcome Cran Chile employees into our family,” said Randy Papadellis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Spray. “Cran Chile’s reputation for quality and excellence in cranberry processing is a good strategic fit and will better help the Cooperative accelerate the growing global demand for dried cranberries, the fastest-growing product in Ocean Spray’s portfolio.”
While this marks Ocean Spray’s first international acquisition, the reach of the Ocean Spray brand goes far beyond the United States. The Cooperative’s cranberries are currently featured in more than a thousand products in over 50 countries worldwide.
“This acquisition will enable us to better compete in the global dried fruit market and provide long-term benefits in returns for our grower owners,” added Papadellis. “It also represents a new frontier for our cooperative that will diversify our fruit supply with a counter-seasonal supply of cranberries from Chile, enable us to distribute dried cranberries from a strategic South American location to new and existing international markets, and increase our capacity to produce dried cranberries by 12 million pounds annually.”
As part of the agreement, Ocean Spray has purchased all land and assets related to receiving, storage, processing, and distribution of dried cranberries. All of the approximately 100 Cran Chile plant employees will become Ocean Spray employees. Cran Chile is also one of the world’s largest cranberry growing operations and has accepted an invitation to become a member of the Ocean Spray Cooperative. Cran Chile will continue to process raspberries and blueberries at the Lanco facility subject to a long term processing agreement with Ocean Spray.
“The employees of the Cran Chile facility and Ocean Spray share a culture of excellence in quality and service as well as a vision for growing the demand for cranberries in new markets,” said Gordon Swanson, Managing Partner of Cran Chile. “The opportunity represents an exceptional strategic fit for two industry leaders. In addition to becoming a major supplier of cranberries to Ocean Spray, we look forward to becoming a major member of the cooperative.”
About Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as 35 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed over 80 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976. Ocean Spray is North America’s leading producer of bottled juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in the bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted fiscal 2012 gross sales of $2.2 billion and net proceeds of $338 million. Headquartered in Lakeville-Middleboro, Massachusetts, Ocean Spray employs some 2,000 people worldwide.
About Cran Chile
Cran Chile is one of the largest growers of cranberries in the world and is the leading exporter of raspberry and blueberry juice concentrates from Latin America. Founded 20 years ago by the legendary Warren Simmons, the company pioneered the use of new technologies and economies of scale to improve cranberry crop yields and lower costs.