Deal will boost retailer/distributor’s fresh prepared capabilities
By Progressive Grocer
Midwestern grocery retailer and distributor SpartanNash will acquire certain assets of Caito Foods Service and Blue Ribbon Transport (BRT), including Caito’s produce distribution and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables businesses, its newly constructed Fresh Kitchen facility for fresh-prepared foods, and Blue Ribbon’s logistics business.
The $217.5 million deal, expected to close in January, is aimed at strengthening SpartanNash’s product offerings to its existing customer base by expanding into the fast-growing freshly prepared centerplate and side dish categories.
“We are excited about this opportunity to expand our presence in serving some of the fastest-growing categories in grocery, including fresh produce, value-added fruits and vegetables and protein-based prepared food,” said Dennis Edison, SpartanNash’s CEO and chairman. “Caito Foods Service is a premier distributor with best-in-class food processing facilities. In addition, Caito’s service area is complementary to our current distribution footprint, and we look forward to serving customers in new areas in addition to enhancing our offerings to existing customers. In short, this acquisition further strengthens our platform and enhances our ability to help our customers serve their consumers, benefiting our associates and the communities we serve, as well as delivering value for shareholders.”
Caito and BRT will become part of SpartanNash’s food distribution segment. Caito’s senior leadership team, including Caito President Robert Kirch and Blue Ribbon Transport President David Frizzell, will join SpartanNash upon completion of the transaction. Kirch will report to Dave Staples, SpartanNash president and COO; Frizzell will report to Derek Jones, SpartanNash EVP and president of wholesale and distribution operations. Both will continue in their roles and oversee the acquired operations, which will remain based in Indianapolis.
“With our long history and family tradition of processing and distributing fresh, convenient, healthy foods, we are excited and proud to join an organization that shares our passion and commitment to serve customers with the freshest foods,” Kirch said. “We are looking forward to joining the SpartanNash family to expand and enhance our combined ability to deliver high quality fresh products efficiently to a greater number of customers across the country.”
Founded in Indianapolis in 1965, Caito Foods Service is a leading supplier of fresh fruit and vegetables to grocery retailers and foodservice distributors across 22 states in the Southeast, Midwest and Eastern United States. Caito and BRT, which generate combined annual revenues in excess of $600 million, currently service customers from facilities in Indiana, Ohio and Florida.
Caito has a central fresh-cut fruit and vegetable facility in Indianapolis and is completing construction on its new 118,000-square-foot Fresh Kitchen facility, also in Indianapolis. The $32 million Fresh Kitchen will process, cook and package fresh protein-based foods and complete meals; it is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2017. The company offers temperature-controlled distribution and logistics services throughout North America through its affiliate Blue Ribbon Transport.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based SpartanNash’s core businesses include distributing grocery products to independent grocery retailers, national accounts, its corporate owned retail stores and U.S. military commissaries. With locations in 47 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain and Egypt, SpartanNash operates 159 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare Supermarkets, Family Fresh Market, D&W Fresh Market and SunMart.