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“When you sell fresh, you sell more”

“When you sell fresh, you sell more”

Dorot Farm, an Israeli company founded in 1941, is currently the largest exporter of fresh and sweet carrots to the U.S. and Canada. “We export around the world, to Russia, Europe and North America, and we have offices in Melville, Long Island, and in Israel,” says Ami Ben-Dror, CEO of B.D.A, Dorot Farm’s Representative for Europe and North America.

The company deals mainly with fresh and sweet carrots, with a focus on offering the best quality and special varieties. Ami explains that “we started in the North American market a few years ago. We ship Cello carrots directly to supermarkets in 1, 2, 3 and 5 pound formats, and Jumbo carrots to the food service, which are very sweet and produce less waste when peeled,” explains Ami. “People appreciate their freshness, sweetness, colour and taste.”

The Jumbo carrots actually became a success story in North America, with very large volumes shipped every season (lasting from February to August). “We received very good feedback on the quality; we started almost 8 years ago and all USDA regulations are met,” states Ami. The bottom line is that “with farms all around the world, you need to find where your growers can have the advantage.”

In this sense, Ami stresses the importance of branding, investments, structure and the capacity to agree in the formation of joint ventures.

The firm also exports a lot to Europe; a destination which, according to Ami, has great potential, since it is a market where large volumes of carrots are still kept in storage for months. “The next step is for big growers to go on joint ventures to grow in the Israeli season, because when you sell fresh, you sell more.”

Focusing on fresh could in fact be the key to extend Dorot Farm’s window in the European market, which currently spans for three months. “The feedback from supermarkets and the food service confirms the difference in quality, and as a leading exporter, we need to focus on innovation, and this is the way to go.”

Ami assures that North America still has plenty of potential to continue growing, and perceives market diversification as an essential move for any horticultural company, as “in the end, despite the different preferences of European and North American consumers, they all want the same: to eat fresh and to be provided with convenience.”

For more info:
Ami Ben Dror
Dorot Farms
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 12/23/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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Dahl’s files Chapter 11, will sell to AWG

Dahl’s Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has agreed to be acquired by its supplier and largest creditor, Associated Wholesale Grocers.

Employee-owned Dahl’s operates 10 stores in Iowa. It reported $ 136.8 million in sales for the fiscal year ended June 28.

Kansas City, Kan.-based AWG has entered into an agreement to buy Dahl’s operating assets, making an undisclosed “stalking horse” offer subject to a court-approved auction. According to AWG, the acquisition would allow a member of the cooperative to take over the stores and rebrand them. AWG did not disclose which member it intended to acquire the stores for.

In documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Des Moines, Dahl’s revealed it had been in financial trouble for some time, attributing its struggles to having reacted too slowly to competitive threats, then overleveraging in attempts to catch up.

“As we continue to seek the capital needed to maintain a competitive position within the communities Dahl’s serves this [bankruptcy] was the best option,” Dahl’s CEO Craig Moore said in a statement. “Our board has approved the sale of the company, which will ensure that the stores come out of this stage successfully. Right now, our focus is on preserving our workforce and continuing to provide a competitive and connected store experience for our customers.”


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Dahl’s joined AWG in 2011 seeking a lower cost of doing business and additional financial resources, entering into a series of financing transactions including sale-leaseback of some properties and other loans. In 2013, Dahl’s engaged the Food Paretners to assist in decision making and brought Moore aboard as CEO. An operational turnaround under Moore was delivering results more slowly than anticipated, Dahl’s said.

Dahl’s listed assets of $ 179,875 and debts of $ 36.2 million — nearly all to AWG. It said it had agreed to a financing package with AWG providing up to $ 3 million in new post-petition financing.

“Our intentions for entering into the agreement to purchase Dahl’s Foods are to provide an opportunity for a member of our cooperative to successfully enter the Des Moines grocery market, with some good locations, and to gain a strong and experienced workforce, which is already in the stores,” Jerry Garland, president and CEO of AWG, said in a statement. “We envision that once acquired… the stores will be remodeled and updated, and steps will be taken to build a new brand and identity for the Dahl’s stores, and ultimately the consumers of Des Moines can be provided with a better selection and value in locations which are familiar and staffed by friends and neighbors.”

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Delhaize to sell Bottom Dollar to Aldi

Delhaize Group announced Thursday in Brussels that it has signed an agreement to sell Bottom Dollar Food’s 66 store locations in the greater Philadelphia and greater Pittsburgh markets to Aldi for approximately $ 15 million.

The transaction, which includes Aldi’s assumption of associated lease liabilities, is expected to result in an asset impairment and other charges for Delhaize Group of approximately $ 180 million.    

All stores are anticipated to remain open as Bottom Dollar Food stores until year-end. After that time, Bottom Dollar Food will close the stores and retire the banner´s operations. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter 2015.    

“I would like to thank our Bottom Dollar Food associates for their hard work and dedication to their customers,” said Frans Muller, president and CEO of Delhaize Group. “The divestiture of Bottom Dollar Food further simplifies our business, increases debt capacity and creates shareholder value. Today´s announcement is consistent with our strategy, announced in March, of investing in and focusing on our core markets.”

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Why today’s supermarkets need to sell food-for-now as well as food-for-later

In this market, the only way to grow at more than 1% or 2% is to take business from someone else.

One area where food retailers are stealing share is from what we’ve traditionally called foodservice, i.e. the restaurant business. We see the distinction between food retail and foodservice blurring as busy, time-starved shoppers buy food-for-now and food-for-later in the same place — and the retailers who are serving them are generating new sales growth. Some shoppers are moving online where they can order meals and meal solutions for home delivery from Blue Apron, Plated, HelloFresh, etc.

Selling fully prepared meals and/or fully assembled meal ingredients may not be a brand new idea — after all, retailers like Wegmans have been doing it for years — but I believe now is the time to make it a part of redefining the modern supermarket offering.

You can see this play out at the Village ShopRite near Morristown, N.J., where the broad array of prepared foods ranges from Italian to barbecue for carryout. There’s also a comfortable eat-in seating area. Now customers have a whole new set of reasons to visit the store.

Mariano’s in Chicagoland offers something similar. There, it isn’t unusual to see customers go to the store to get something to eat and do their grocery shopping afterwards.

Blending foodservice with food retail takes work, but if this is where shoppers are headed, food retailers need to decide if they want to go with them — and if not, ask themselves how they’ll offset the dollars that shoppers are diverting to prepared and assembled meals.

Where have you seen food retailers succeed with a food-for-now and food-for-later offering? What do you think holds others back?

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AWI in talks to sell

Associated Wholesalers Inc. said Friday that it was evaluating offers to acquire the company and its White Rose subsidiary from unnamed potential buyers. AWI said it intended to evaluate the offers but added that the discussions may not result in a sale and that it was focused on running business as usual while the process continues.

The statement confirmed industry speculation that the entire company could be sold.


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The Robsonia, Pa.-based company in June said it planned only to sell White Rose, the Carteret, N.J.-based independent distributor in a move that would allow it to return to its roots as a cooperative.

White Rose distributes to several metro New York retailers including Fairway Markets, Met Food and Pioneer.

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Family Dollar under pressure to sell

When Family Dollar Stores announces its third-quarter earnings on Thursday, CEO Howard Levine is expected to address pressure from investors to sell the chain.

The company has had some financial trouble recently, having to close 370 stores after poor performance in its second quarter. Family Dollar has been transitioning to become an “every-day-low-price” retailer, but Levine has said that the benefits from this low-price transition have been slow.

The charge to sell the company has been led by activist investor Carl C. Icahn, who — along with associated funds — now owns 9.4% of the company’s stock. Icahn published a letter to CEO Howard Levine last month urging him to sell the company immediately.

“Consolidation in this space is inevitable and we believe that now is not the time for continued passivity. We believe the company has been in limbo for far too long,” he wrote, threatening to take over the board if the company failed to comply.

After Icahn had acquired the stock earlier last month, Family Dollar announced adopted a shareholder rights plan for investors owning more than 10% of the company to pay a premium. 

Potential buyers

Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein suggested that Wal-Mart would be a good buyer for the chain, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year:

As Wal-Mart has said it’s expanding smaller-format stores in the U.S. to compete for its core-customers in the “fill-in” trip, it may be time for McMillon to follow the company’s international strategy to acquire for growth in the U.S., Exstein said. 

Exstein also pointed to a smaller overlap between Wal-Mart and Family Dollar than Dollar Tree or Dollar General, as well as Family Dollar’s urban stores giving Wal-Mart more city territory.

There’s also been speculation that Dollar General may be looking to acquire Family Dollar.  

Daniel Binder, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., New York, told SN last month that Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling may have announced his 2015 retirement earlier than expected so that the company would be able to bring in a replacement ready to work on the multi-year integration of the two companies. 

“A leveraged buyout of FDO [Family Dollar] now appears more likely given the announced retirement of Richard Dreiling, CEO of DG,” Wolfe Research, New York, said in a report earlier this week, noting that the high purchase price of the company would likely mean there wouldn’t be a quick sale.

The research group expects comparable-store sales for the third quarter to decrease by 2.5% since the third quarter last year.

Family Dollar has a history of activist investors, reported The New York Times:

In 2011, Nelson Peltz, another prominent investor, made a bid for the company after amassing a 7.9 percent stake. But Family Dollar resisted, and Mr. Peltz eventually abandoned the effort when the company agreed to name his partner to its board.

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Grocery Outlet may sell for more than $1 billion

The sale of another retail chain may be on the horizon. Berkeley, CA-based Grocery Outlet, a third-generation family-run discount chain, is exploring a sale valued at more than $ 1 billion, according to a Reuters report

The article, which cited people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because it is not public, noted that Grocery Outlet has about $ 100 million in earnings and Barclays and Goldman Sachs were hired to run the sale.

The chain currently has more than 200 independently operated stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. Most stores are independently operated by locally based families.

The company was founded by Jim Read in 1946, at which time it sold military surplus at a discount. Since that time it has evolved to provide its customers with a wide variety of offerings, including fresh produce and organics.

Read’s grandson, MacGregor Read, has been a co-chief executive officer since 2006. Prior to working at Grocery Outlet, MacGregor worked at Lucky Stores and Del Monte Foods.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Louisiana Senate Kills Bill Allowing Farmers to Sell Raw Milk to Consumers

A House-passed bill to permit the sale or distribution of raw milk by the farmer directly to a consumer is dead in the Louisiana Senate.

The lower chamber of the Louisiana Legislature easily approved House Bill 1279 on May 7 in a 78-to-19 vote. The favorable House floor vote came the raw milk bill was recommended on a narrow vote by the Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development.

But the bill died last week in the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, which had safety concerns about unpasteurized milk, ending Louisiana’s “I Love Raw Milk” campaign for at least another year.

It was the first time in a decade that the Louisiana Legislature seriously considered changing in its restrictive raw milk policy, and public hearing of the issue sparked the usual grassroots lobbying by raw milk advocates. But in the end, it died on a 4-to 1 committee vote.

State Sen. Fred Mills, R-St. Martinville, was the only committee member to vote in favor of the measure. He tried to comfort disappointed supporters by explaining that “good legislation sometimes takes time.”

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Publix to Sell PIX C-Store Chain

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here said Tuesday it has agreed to divest its 14-store PIX fuel/c-store chain to focus on its core supermarket operations.

Circle K Stores, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian c-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard, will purchase 13 sites — 11 in Florida and two in Georgia — and Max Arnold & Sons, a family-owned company located in Hopkinsville, Ky., will purchase the PIX site located in Tennessee. Circle K plans to close two of the locations in Castlebury and Seminole, Fla., a Pubix spokeswoman told SN.


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Terms of the sales were not disclosed.

“We consistently evaluate our business, including the products and services we choose to offer our customers,” said Ed Crenshaw, chief executive officer, Publix, in a statement. “The sale of PIX locations gives us the ability to remain passionately focused on our core business, our customers and the products and services we offer within our grocery retail environment.”

More news: Publix Expands to Myrtle Beach Market

The Publix spokeswoman said the company would offer comparable jobs in its supermarkets to all 120 PIX workers. The workers would also be free to apply for jobs with Circle K and Max Arnold & Sons, which are expected to reopen the stores quickly after the signage and private-label products are removed.

Publix said it is retaining the PIX name.

The company had begun testing the PIX banner in 2001, operating it at locations adjacent to Publix-anchored shopping centers.

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C&K to Sell Pharmacies

BROOKINGS, Ore. — C&K Market here said Monday it plans to sell its 15 pharmacies as part of an effort to focus on its core supermarket business.

The company said it has buyers tentatively lined up for all 15 stores and expects to have all of them sold by mid-November. The pharmacies operate in southern Oregon and northern California under the names Pharmacy Express, Tiffany’s Drugs and Chetco Pharmacy & Gifts.

Industry observers said the pharmacies account for only a small part of the chain’s estimated $ 450 million volume.


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According to Greg L. Sandeno, president, “In a move to strengthen our operations, we plan to focus exclusively on our core business of operating community grocery stores. We’re known for our friendly service, and we plan to build on that and implement strategies to increase our value proposition.

“We have strong buyers for each of our pharmacies, and that ensures our customers will continue to be served in their communities. We’re confident our customers will find the new owners to be just as responsive and helpful as we’ve been over the years.”

A spokesman told SN the decision to sell the pharmacies came “as part of a larger strategic review that’s been going on for several months.”

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Safeway, Target Sell Starbucks Exclusives

PLESANTON, Calif. — Starbucks has launched exclusive limited-edition coffees for Safeway and Target, and is exploring similar partnerships with other retailers, Joe Manning, Starbucks’ director of channel development, told SN.


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Africa Kitamu launched last month in Safeway stores, while Costa Rica Tarrazú and Organic Serena Blend are slated to hit the shelves at Minneapolis-based Target this month.

Each will be available for a limited time at a suggested retail price of $ 8.99 per 12-ounce bag.

Read more: Safeway Groupon Promotes Starbucks Grocery, Cafe

All three coffees were discontinued in 2011 to make room for the retailer’s new Blonde Roast, according to a Starbucks’ blog post. Seattle-based Starbucks opted to revive the brands as exclusive offerings for food retailers.

“We’ve had success in our cafes with limited-edition blends, and are looking to replicate that in grocery,” Manning said.

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“Fighting to sell melons in peak season”

Leon van den Hombergh: July-supply moved to August
“Fighting to sell melons in peak season”

The European melon season had a slow start because of bad weather conditions in Spain. “As a result production had a difficult start resulting in high prices till the end of July. But everything we did not have then we have received now,” Leon van den Hombergh of Frankort & Koning says. “In the next four weeks there will be a sufficient supply of melons. When a truck load has been sold the next one is already at the door.”

“The Galia, Cantaloupe and watermelons are available in large quantities,” Leon says. “Watermelons, are also offered from Italy, Greece, Hungary and Bulgaria. Each country has a plentiful production without any problems. Watermelons are a cheap sowing alternative. The growers prices at the moment are between 10 and 20 cents in Europe. New developments are the small and yellow watermelons, but sales for these are also limited.”

Supply of Cantaloupe melons is plentiful from Spain and Italy, with the result of low prices and the same is the case for Galia’s. “We can still expect an enormous supply during the next four weeks. It will become a laborious month of August with large volumes again and low prices,” the importer says. “Brazil is already impatient and will come with large volumes at the end of August. Then Europe should make sure that the larger part is off the market.”

For more information:
Leon van den Hombergh
Frankort & Koning
126, Venrayseweg 
5928 RH Venlo
Tel: +31 (077) 389 72 72
Fax: +31 (077) 382 61 34
www.frankort.nl

Publication date: 8/7/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Belle Foods to sell all remaining stores

About one month after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Belle Foods has announced plans to sell all of its remaining grocery stores.

Belle Foods and C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. have reached an agreement for debtor-in-possession financing to be extended by C&S to Belle, which has been approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

belle According to the company, Belle has agreed to sell the 44 stores because it believes the sale of the stores presents the best opportunity to maximize value for the benefit of its creditors.

Bill and Jeff White, the owners of Belle, have retained the right to submit bids for the purchase of the stores. C&S has agreed to continue supplying the stores, ensuring that the stores will remain open to serve Belle’s customers. The debtor-in-possession financing and the C&S supply commitment extend through at least Oct. 4, 2013.

“At this point, this is the best way to serve our customers, preserve jobs for our employees and support our communities,” Bill White, owner and president of Belle, said in a press release. “We expect these stores to be sold as on-going operations and will work with any new owners to see that our people remain employed. We have some of the best and most experienced grocery professionals in the South working in our stores.”

Belle has agreed that a chief restructuring officer will be employed to assist the company during the bankruptcy process in order to maximize the value of the stores for all parties involved. Bill and Jeff White have agreed to stay with the company for a period of time in order to assist with the CRO’s transition, and they have also agreed to remain available to assist and consult with the CRO as needed.

“It would be great if Belle Foods were to exist in some form or fashion at the end of this process, but at this point, our focus is on our customers and teammates,” Bill White said.

Currently all of the 44 remaining Belle-owned stores are open for business.

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Belle to Sell All Stores; C&S Takes Over

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Belle Foods, which filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, said Wednesday that it would look to sell all of its remaining 44 stores as part of an agreement with its largest creditor, supplier C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Belle, which operated 57 stores when it filed for Chapter 11 protection July 1, previously received approval to close 13 stores, and last week sought approval to sell another 12. The motion to sell all of its stores comes as part of a financing package with C&S intended to repay Belle’s $ 33.3 million debt with C&S and provide enough working capital to continue to operate stores through Oct. 4.

If approved by the court, a chief restructuring officer would be installed by C&S to maximize the value of the stores. Belle owners Bill White and Jeff White said they would stay to assist with the CRO’s transition. They also retain a right to submit bids to repurchase stores.


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“We’re in talks with other wholesalers who could back us, and hopefully we can come out with a group of stores,” Bill White told SN Wednesday. “That seems to be the best path, not only for us, but for getting the best value out of the estate.”

Belle in court papers said it reconsidered initial plans to operate the stores while in Chapter 11 when it received unexpected interest in some of the 13 stores marked for closure on July 5. Belle has since paused going-out-of-business sales at “five or six” of those stores that attracted interest and is currently working to sell those units as on-going concerns to individual bidders, White said.

“The demand for the closing stores, which were underperforming relative to Belle Foods’ other stores, caused the company to reconsider its original plan,” Belle said in a document filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. “Belle Foods now believes that marketing all of its stores for sale presents the best opportunity to maximize the value of its assets for the benefit of its estate and creditors.”

Belle filed a motion seeking approval of the sale of 12 stores last week in response to a “stalking horse” bid for those assets from wholesaler Associated Wholesale Grocers. That bid included 10 stores in and around Mobile, Ala., as well as stores in Columbus, Miss., and Meridian, Miss. AWG has a new distribution facility in Pearl River, La.

The financing package calls for up to $ 34.8 million, according to court documents. Of that amount $ 33.3 million would be used to refinance existing obligations to C&S; and $ 1.5 million will be available as new financing. Belle said it required the financing to have sufficient funds to operate while in Chapter 11.

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Belle Foods to Sell All Stores; C&S Takes Over

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Belle Foods, which filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, said Wednesday that it would look to sell all of its remaining 44 stores as part of an agreement with its largest creditor, supplier C&S Wholesale Grocers.

Belle, which operated 57 stores when it filed for Chapter 11 protection July 1, previously received approval to close 13 stores, and last week sought approval to sell another 12. The motion to sell all of its stores comes as part of a financing package with C&S intended to repay Belle’s $ 33.3 million debt with C&S and provide enough working capital to continue to operate stores through Oct. 4.

If approved by the court, a chief restructuring officer would be installed by C&S to maximize the value of the stores. Belle owners Bill White and Jeff White said they would stay to assist with the CRO’s transition. They also retain a right to submit bids to repurchase stores.


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“We’re in talks with other wholesalers who could back us, and hopefully we can come out with a group of stores,” Bill White told SN Wednesday. “That seems to be the best path, not only for us, but for getting the best value out of the estate.”

Belle in court papers said it reconsidered initial plans to operate the stores while in Chapter 11 when it received unexpected interest in some of the 13 stores marked for closure on July 5. Belle has since paused going-out-of-business sales at “five or six” of those stores that attracted interest and is currently working to sell those units as on-going concerns to individual bidders, White said.

“The demand for the closing stores, which were underperforming relative to Belle Foods’ other stores, caused the company to reconsider its original plan,” Belle said in a document filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. “Belle Foods now believes that marketing all of its stores for sale presents the best opportunity to maximize the value of its assets for the benefit of its estate and creditors.”

Belle filed a motion seeking approval of the sale of 12 stores last week in response to a “stalking horse” bid for those assets from wholesaler Associated Wholesale Grocers. That bid included 10 stores in and around Mobile, Ala., as well as stores in Columbus, Miss., and Meridian, Miss. AWG has a new distribution facility in Pearl River, La.

The financing package calls for up to $ 34.8 million, according to court documents. Of that amount $ 33.3 million would be used to refinance existing obligations to C&S; and $ 1.5 million will be available as new financing. Belle said it required the financing to have sufficient funds to operate while in Chapter 11.

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