Two Del Montes team up for JV in retail, refrigerated groceries

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Two Del Montes team up for JV in retail, refrigerated groceries

They are two companies that could easily be confused given the same name and joint presence in the fruit sector, but Del Monte Pacific and Fresh Del Monte are by all means separate companies. 

Del Monte Pacific chairman Rolando C. Gapud (left) and Fresh Del Monte Produce Chairman Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh (right).

The former is based in Asia (dual listed on the Singapore and Philippine stock exchanges) while the latter calls Coral Gables, Florida home.

But the potential for crossover is obvious, and the two companies are now set to make the most of their commonalities through the announcement today of a series of new joint ventures.

In a release, the companies said these partnerships will result in expanded refrigerated offerings sold across all distribution and sales channels, and a new retail food and beverage concept modeled after an already successful Fresh Del Monte Produce business in the Middle East.

The joint ventures will initially focus on the U.S. market with the potential for expansion into other territories where the companies’ businesses complement each other.

The new deals are facilitated by the full and final settlement of all active litigation between Del Monte Pacific Limited and its subsidiary Del Monte Foods Inc. on the one hand, and Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. on the other, effective immediately.

The long-standing litigation had centered on licensing rights and product distribution in various territories around the world.

"We are leased that we have resolved our differences and put to rest the financial uncertainty that can arise from prolonged litigation," said Del Monte Pacific chairman Rolando C. Gapud.

"We look forward to combining the resources of Del Monte Pacific, our US subsidiary Del Monte Foods, and Fresh Del Monte Produce, and focusing our joint efforts on exciting new business opportunities that will provide consumers with more premium quality, healthy products."

Gapud's sentiments were echoed by Fresh Del Monte Produce's chairman Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh.

"This partnership offers tremendous opportunities for both companies to innovate on a much broader and deeper scale than either company can accomplish individually," he said.

"Each company brings a high level of knowledge, experience and commitment that comes from developing and building the iconic, trusted Del Monte® brand.

"We also share similar visions for creating products and experiences that will meet the evolving needs of today’s consumer."

A major joint initiative is the introduction of Del Monte-branded retail outlets, featuring an assortment of nutritious foods and beverages to meet the increasing demands of consumers for healthier food options.

The companies also announced that they are collaborating on several product innovations, including a line of chilled juices, new varieties of prepared refrigerated fruit snacks, and guacamole and avocado products.

The collaboration offers the opportunity for each partner to share expertise and optimize economies of scale in product development, operations, sourcing, supply chain, marketing and distribution.

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