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GraceKennedy USA signs distribution deal with AriZona Beverages

Published:Sunday | March 1, 2015 | 3:00 AM

GraceKennedy USA LLC has struck a deal with American company AriZona Beverages USA, to distribute its Grace line of beverages.

The partnership will expand the Grace line into convenience stores, restaurants and bars across New York and New Jersey, and will channel the products into mainstream markets beyond the Caribbean and Hispanic diasporas. GraceKennedy also plans to tap into the Texas market under the distribution agreement struck in January.

"This deal literally has the potential to double our Grace Beverage numbers in the next two years," said GraceKennedy Group CEO Don Wehby, in a company- issued release. "The deal is barely a month old and already we are seeing an increase in our beverage sales," he said.

The agreement with AriZona covers the US North East and includes Grace's Tropical Rhythms, Aloe Drink and Grace Coconut Water product lines, the Jamaican conglomerate said.

But GraceKennedy also says its US subsidiary would also continue to distribute Grace beverages directly to the major retail chains in the same corridor, including Wal-mart, Pathmark, Stop and Shop, ShopRite.

AriZona Beverages is itself a top producer of beverages. Its iced tea is popular on Jamaica's grocery shelves.

GraceKennedy USA was the vehicle used to acquire the operating assets and business of food company La Fe in July 2014. It is headed by Michael Ranglin.

business@gleanerjm.com