Allen Brothers Acquires Arleen Foods

Distributor expanding Mid-Atlantic presence

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution, a leading distributor for convenience stores and beverage outlets in the Mid-Atlantic region, has announced that it has acquired Arleen Foods, which has gross sales of approximately $6.5 million. The value of the merger was not disclosed.

A primary distributor of candy, beverages, snacks, health and beauty supplies, tobacco, grocery and frozen products, Allen Brothers is headquartered in northeastern Philadelphia. Now in its third generation of family ownership, the company is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.[image-nocss]

Jeff Allen, president of Allen Brothers, said, "It's an exciting opportunity to continue to expand our breadth of product. We strongly believe in Arleen Foods value, and we welcome the opportunity to further expand our growing presence in the Mid-Atlantic area. We look forward to developing relationships with the customers of Arleen Foods by offering thousands of more products, the most up-to-date technologies in our business and superior service. This is the same strategy we have successfully incorporated over the past 100 years."

For more than 70 years, Kensington, Pa.-based Arleen Foods has specialized in the frozen and refrigerated sectors in addition to their dairy products, grocery, candy and ethnic foods. Prior to the acquisition, Arleen Foods had been in business since 1938 with locations in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del.

"The deal was in negotiations for the past six months. Arleen Foods is a 99% food based company in frozen food and grocery items, and Allen Brothers has been actively pursuing this type of company to increase its customer based as well as product mix," Allen Brothers marketing manager Joe Winning told CSP Daily News.

"Arleen Foods will enable Allen Brothers to fully service traditional food markets, supermarkets and neighborhood grocery stores beyond its concentration of servicing c-stores," he said. "With the addition of 1,000 frozen food and dry grocery items, Arleen Foods has also enabled Allen Brothers to expand into ice cream. Allen Brothers is currently expanding their refrigeration and freezer units to include storage for ice cream as well as many of the other new products that have been added."

As well as c-stores, Allen Brothers also services gift shops in hotels and hospitals, liquor stores, drug stores, country clubs, supermarkets, grocery stores and schools. With its most recent acquisition, Allen Brothers now plans to increase its presence in grocery stores, fresh produce markets and campgrounds, it said.

To meet recent growth demands, Allen Brothers is now building additional refrigerated and frozen space as well as a minus-20 freezer for ice cream units.

Joe O'Sendowski, previous owner of Arleen Foods, said, "We're thrilled to merge with an industry leader. I could not envision Arleen Foods joining a finer organization than Allen Brothers. Our sales and customer service team is as committed as ever to growing with our new parent company, and we are excited to be a part of a corporation that values our dedication to customer service and extensive product offering."

Allen Brothers' headquarters campus in Philadelphia houses a state-of-the-art facility that accommodates its corporate offices as well as a warehouse and refrigerated and frozen food facility. Allen Brothers' location allows it to effectively service every county of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Washington, D.C., with next day delivery, it said.

Allen Brothers has now incorporated six other companies under their flagship in recent years. Acquiring Arleen Foods "is not an unfamiliar process for our team at Allen Brothers," Allen said. "We've been in business for 100 years, and you're not around that long by mistake. Our policy is a simple one: You're business means more. We don't engage in these acquisitions unless we are positive that we can meet, or more likely exceed, the level of service our new customers have enjoyed during their past affiliations."

Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution is a family-owned company that employs more than 80 professionals.