General Merchandise/HBC

Peel Deal

Core-Mark to slip single Chiquita bananas into North American c-stores

CINCINNATI -- Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Core-Mark International, one of the largest North American distributors to the convenience retail industry, have entered into an arrangement to distribute Chiquita bananas using Landec Corp.'s patented packaging technology to convenience stores throughout the Core-Mark network.

After successfully concluding a test at more than 200 c-stores, Chiquita and Core-Mark have a goal to expand the reach of premium Chiquita bananas to more than 5,000 retail locations in dozens of states by yearend.

This arrangement is a good example of how we are executing our strategy to better meet consumer needs for convenient, healthy and great-tasting food, said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and CEO at Chiquita. Premium single-serve Chiquita bananas meet the consumer's desire for quality and freshness in the convenience store channel. Retailers benefit by being able to offer ready-to-eat healthy snacks with better margins and a longer shelf life. Chiquita benefits because c-store sales provide incremental profitable growth.

A joint technology development and supply agreement reached in September 2004 between Chiquita and Landec was a key enabler to this distribution arrangement with Core-Mark. Chiquita is using Landec's patented packaging technology to keep single bananas at the ready-to-eat stage required in immediate-consumption outlets. By extending the shelf life of bananas, new retail locations, such as c-stores, can now offer consistent-quality Chiquita bananas.

South San Francisco, Calif.-based Core-Mark is one of the largest broad-line, full-service wholesale distributors of packaged consumer products to the convenience retail industry in North America. It provides distribution and logistics services as well as marketing programs to about 20,000 retail locations in 38 states and five Canadian provinces through 24 distribution centers. Core-Mark services traditional convenience retailers, grocers, mass merchandisers, drug, liquor and specialty stores, and other stores that carry consumer packaged goods.

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