Church Brothers Farms Acquires Green Giant™ Fresh Value-Added Veg Business From Growers Express
SALINAS, CA - Last January, Church Brothers Farms rocked the industry’s boat by acquiring the commodity vegetable business of Growers Express. Almost a year later, the grower is celebrating its success with yet another acquisition from Growers Express, this time scooping up the Green Giant™ Fresh value-added vegetable business. While details of the transaction were not disclosed, we know that the acquisition will include a Growers Express’ production facility and equipment located in Gonzales, California. According to a press release, Church Brothers will absorb the acquired value-added vegetable product line into its existing Green Giant Fresh sublicense with Growers Express. Additionally, the company is integrating over 130 Growers Express’ value-added fresh employees into its operation.
“Taking over an existing program allows us to invest in innovation that will build our business as we expand our capabilities and resources,” Church Brothers’ Vice President of Strategic Growth and Planning, Rick Russo said. “The expansion of our existing value-add salad and vegetable program will also allow us to offer more to our foodservice customers. The location of the Gonzales facility is ideal because it is where our Green Giant Fresh commodity program is shipped from and maintaining the employees there will provide continuity in service and quality assurance.”
With this most recent acquisition, the entire fresh vegetable program of Growers Express is now folded into Church Brothers Farms. The deal will provide instant expansion for the company into a number of high-growth, value-added categories such as Brussels sprouts, riced vegetables, vegetable noodles, single serve vegetable bowls, and Little Gem lettuce. This value-added fresh vegetable product line is expected to enhance the company’s growing retail offering.
Growers Express will retain its frozen cut vegetable business that includes noodles, rice, and cut vegetables. Additionally, Growers Express retains the master licensing agreement for the Green Giant Fresh brand. The company also operates a cooling facility in Gonzales; a processing facility in Biddeford, Maine; and a frozen processing operation in Yuma, Arizona, that are not included in this transaction.
“This is a mutually beneficial scenario that allows us to focus on our frozen vegetable business while we partner with Church Brothers and other vegetable growers to expand into new products and categories with our successful Green Giant Fresh licensed brand,” said Tom Byrne, President of Growers Express. “Church Brothers Farms has been a true partner for many years, and we’ve come closer together during the past year as we integrated our commodity team into the Church Brothers family. I am confident this transition will be as successful and that it will allow both organizations to leverage our strengths for mutual gain.”
Congratulations to Church Brothers Farms on yet another monumental acquisition!