Frito-Lay, Oberto Agree to End Partnership

Meat snack maker will transition to direct sales, distribution

PLANO, Texas & SEATTLE -- Frito-Lay North America and the Oberto Sausage Co. have agreed to end their partnership of the last 10 years for distribution and sales of Oh Boy! Oberto brand meat snack products in the United States and Canada. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under terms of the joint decision, Frito-Lay will sell and distribute "Oh Boy! Oberto" meat snacks until Aug. 15, 2009, at which time Oberto Sausage Co. will transition to a direct sales and distribution model. Existing customers will receive full sales and distribution coverage through Aug. 15, 2009, [image-nocss] from Frito-Lay.

"We've had a strong partnership with Oberto over the past 10 years, and both companies helped grow Oberto into a national brand. Both of our companies benefited from the partnership, and we each remain committed to the meat snacks category," said Frito-Lay North America president and CEO Al Carey.

"As our business and the industry evolves, this new agreement puts us in the best possible position to continue the tremendous growth and success Oberto has enjoyed for more than 90 years," said Dennis Delaye, chairman and interim CEO of the Oberto Sausage Co.

"Our focus now is working together with Frito-Lay to secure a seamless transition in the marketplace, with minimal disruptions for our customers," added Hal Jackson, VP Sales Oberto.

The distribution agreement between the companies will remain in effect through Aug. 15, 2009, and Frito-Lay is encouraging current customers to continue purchasing Oberto products from Frito-Lay until sales are transitioned. Frito-Lay and Oberto said that they are committed to ensuring that this transition is seamless, and that their consumers and retail partners continue receiving the products and service from the two companies.

Seattle-based Oberto is one of the nation's top beef jerky producers and meat snack food brands. Oberto products are available online and in convenience, grocery and mass market retailers nationwide.

Plano, Texas-based Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana.