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Smucker buys Knott’s Berry Farm

BY Jenna Duncan

Knott’s Berry Farm, maker of jams, jellies, preserves and gift sets, has been bought out by J.M. Smucker, ConAgra Foods today announced.

Details of the transaction have not been released, but ConAgra has said that the sale will not affect its 2009 sales and profit growth projections. The acquired business is expected to add approximately $40 million in annual net sales to the J.M. Smucker portfolio.

The buyout does not include the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park, located in Anaheim, Calif. That property is owned by Cedar Fair L.P., a publicly-traded company based in Sandusky, Ohio.

Sources said that production of Knott’s Berry Farm food products will transition to Smuckers’ facilities during the course of the next four months.

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Snack maker names Tim McGraw the new face of Fritos

BY Jenna Duncan

PLANO, Texas Frito-Lay is launching a marketing campaign starring country music star Tim McGraw. The brand has even designed a special limited edition flavor, Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno Fritos, to promote the snack chips in the U.S.

Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno flavored Fritos corn chips will have a limited distribution launch at select locations during May and a nationwide launch following later this year.

“As a true family man who values the important things in life, Tim McGraw was a natural fit for our new ad campaign,” Frito-Lay North America vice president of marketing, Ken Partyka, said. “Tim shares our passion for life’s simple pleasures, and has his own fond memories of growing up with Fritos corn chips.”

Fritos is the official snack of Tim McGraw’s Live Your Voice 2008 Tour.

Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno Fritos retail for 99 cents per 3.875 oz. bag and $2.49 per 9.75 oz. bag.

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ENGOBI caffeine-infused snack chips land in city markets

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK ENGOBI snack chips infused with caffeine will broaden their distribution to include nine more U.S. cities on the East Coast and in the South during the next month, the company said.

Following successful taste tests in New York City, ENGOBI is launching a campaign with a tour van and “ENGOBI girls” who will appear at select public areas to hand out samples of the new snack chips and provide Guitar Hero video game demos.

“ENGOBI is rocketing off New York City shelves as soon as it’s stocked,” vice president of Rudolph Foods, the maker of ENGOBI, Mark Singleton said. “When we saw the way typically jaded New Yorkers are reacting, we knew it was time to pack up the ENGOBI van and give crunch lovers outside Manhattan the chance to tank up on the tastiest, crunchiest energy source around.”

ENGOBI is available in two flavors cinnamon surge and lemon lift. The name of ENGOBI’s national campaign is “Don’t Be a Piano Hero,” and it features an interactive Web site at ENGOBI.com and a contest with a top prize of a custom-designed, Xbox 360-enabled, Fender Stratocaster guitar, among other prizes.

A single-serving bag of ENGOBI (1.5 oz.) contains about 140 mg of caffeine—more than twice as much as the average energy drink. ENGOBI will be available at convenience stores and some grocery stores nationwide. The suggested retail price is $1.29 per bag.

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