GraceKennedy USA LLC Expands Reach in U.S. With Newly Signed AriZona Limited Distribution Deal

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GraceKennedy and AriZona Beverages have entered into an agreement giving AriZona the rights to distribute the Grace Beverages line to convenience stores, independents and on premise locations - including restaurants and bars - across New York and New Jersey.

AriZona is one of the best distributors of beverages in the New York Metro market and presents a huge opportunity to grow our business.

GraceKennedy, one of the Caribbean's largest and most dynamic corporate entities has announced a new distribution deal in the U.S. with American beverage giant AriZona Beverages USA, LLC. This agreement gives AriZona the rights to distribute the Grace Beverage line to convenience stores, independents and on premise locations – including restaurants and bars - across New York and New Jersey, expanding Grace’s reach beyond traditional Caribbean and Hispanic trade outlets and into mainstream urban retailers in the northeast. GraceKennedy USA LLC will continue to distribute Grace Beverages directly to the major retail chains in the northeast such as Wal-Mart, Pathmark, Stop and Shop, ShopRite and others.

In July 2014, The GraceKennedy Group acquired the operating assets and business of U.S. based food company La Fe, a deal giving the company distribution control for much of the East Coast of the U.S. from its warehouses in Moonachie, New Jersey; Miami, Florida; and Atlanta Georgia, as well as access to the Hispanic market – one of the fastest-growing consumer segments in food and beverage.

The acquisition of La Fe and new distribution deal with AriZona Beverages – mark a major milestone for the company’s growth in the U.S. “When we acquired La Fe, one of our top agenda items was the expansion of our beverage portfolio in the USA,” said GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby. “AriZona is one of the best distributors of beverages in the New York Metro market and presents a huge opportunity to grow our business. The interest from AriZona is also confirmation that our investment in our brands over the years is well recognized by our consumers and key players in the trade. This deal literally has the potential to double our beverage numbers over the next two years. The deal is barely a month old and already we are seeing an increase in our beverage sales.”

AriZona Beverages USA, LLC, based in Woodbury, New York, is a multi-billion dollar company, which makes Arizona Iced Tea, flavored waters, juices, coffees, energy drinks and powdered tea mixes. AriZona is the leader in hot-filled beverages for the United States, and its iced tea is also the top-selling ready-to-drink tea in the United States. With this distribution partnership, the company will now distribute Grace Tropical Rhythms, the Grace Aloe Drink line, as well as Grace Coconut Water for GraceKennedy USA LLC.

"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Grace Beverages and expand both of our businesses domestically and internationally,” said Don Vultaggio, Chairman AriZona Beverages. “We look forward to a long and successful business relationship.”

President and CEO of GraceKennedy USA LLC, Michael Ranglin, commented on the deal noting, “When the opportunity to work with AriZona was presented to us, we acted on it because we know it will give us the chance to build-out our beverages across the urban northeastern areas, while Grace Kennedy USA LLC continues to distribute our beverages to the major retail chains that we’ve been working with for many years. We’ve been operating in the U.S. market since the 1980s, and we have always wanted to expand the distribution of Grace Beverages. This distribution partnership with AriZona is part of our strategic plans to expand our business, and consistent with our overall aim of becoming a Global Consumer Group.”

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ABOUT GRACEKENNEDY
GraceKennedy is one of the Caribbean's largest and most dynamic corporate entities. The company started in Jamaica in 1922 as a small trading establishment and wharf operators. It has expanded and diversified over the years, changing from a privately-owned enterprise to a public company with Food and Finance Divisions, listed on the stock exchanges of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. Today, the Group comprises a varied network of some 50 subsidiaries and associated companies located across the Caribbean, North and Central America, the United Kingdom and Europe, and Africa. GraceKennedy’s operations span the areas of food processing and distribution, banking and finance, insurance and remittance services, together with an investment in building materials retailing. More on GraceKennedy can be found at http://www.gracekennedy.com.     

ABOUT ARIZONA
AriZona Beverages is proud to be an All-American, family owned and operated company founded in 1992, in the heart of Brooklyn, N.Y. Since then, AriZona's greatest objective has been to bring top quality beverages, in uniquely designed packaging that is accessible and affordable to communities around the world. As the makers of the number one ready-to-drink Iced Tea in America, AriZona continues to bring it's iconic $0.99 big cans to local retailers, creating a loyal following across various demographics without the use of advertising. Today, AZ continues to stay ahead of the curve, carving out the latest trends through its unique All-American approach to the consumer market. Fueled by its fans, AriZona continues to grow, pulling inspiration from its strong social media following and supporters. For more information about AriZona Beverages, please visit drinkarizona.com; Facebook: AriZona Iced Tea; Twitter/Instagram/Pintrist; @DrinkAriZona

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Barney A. Bishop
Finn Partners
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