Fresh Express acquires Verdelli Farms

by Keith Nunes
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CINCINNATI – Fresh Express, Inc., a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, Inc., has acquired Verdelli Farms, Harrisburg, Pa., a privately-held regional processor of value-added salads and fruit snacks. Verdelli Farms markets its products under the Verdelli Farms and Harvest Select brands.

"The acquisition of Verdelli Farms, with its focus on meeting the needs of consumers for fresh, healthy and convenient foods, superior food safety and strong customer relationships, is a great fit within our sustainable growth strategy and an excellent complement to our Fresh Express brand," said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer of Chiquita Brands International. "The acquisition accelerates our expansion into the Northeast, where there is strong demand from the largest U.S. concentration of value- added salads consumers, but where the Fresh Express brand has been under-represented."

Verdelli Farms has annual sales of approximately $80 million. Its customer base is primarily in the northeastern U.S.

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