Calavo Growers enters salsa category

by Eric Schroeder
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SANTA PAULA, CALIF. — Calavo Growers, Inc., a leader in the procurement and marketing of fresh avocados, has formed Calavo Salsa Lisa, L.L.C. and acquired Lisa’s Salsa Co., St. Paul, Minn.
Under terms of the agreement, Calavo will have a 65% ownership stake in Calavo Salsa Lisa with an option to acquire the remaining 35% at any time during the next 81 months. Also, Calavo Salsa Lisa will be incorporated into Calavo, while Lisa Nicholson, founder of Lisa’s Salsa, will join Calavo Salsa Lisa with responsibility for manufacturing operations, product development and leading brand and marketing efforts.

Calavo said it will continue to market the Salsa Lisa product line through the existing network of customers in the upper Midwest but immediately will begin marketing the Calavo Salsa Lisa brand and expects shipments to the retail and food service market to begin in April.

“This new line of delicious salsas will be a natural complement to our market leadership in ultra-high-pressure guacamole, which is a simply best-in-category product, as well as our recently introduced Calavo tortilla chips,” said Lee E. Cole, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Calavo. “Being able to market and ship high-end, great tasting guacamole, refrigerated salsa and tortilla chips together is a win-win-win for consumers, our customers and Calavo’s profit margins. We intend to continue to leverage our refrigerated distribution channel by expanding our processed products business on a selective basis, just as we have done with our fresh products where we have added such high quality offerings as tomatoes, papayas, pineapples and mushrooms under the Calavo brand.”

Calavo Salsa Lisa will be produced in St. Paul at the former Lisa’s Salsa Co.’s 8,000-square-foot facility. Calavo said it plans to expand the facility to 10,500 square feet.

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