Seneca Acquires Largest Maraschino Cherries Maker

Seneca Foods Corp. has acquired Gray & Company, a Hart, Mich.-based provider of maraschino cherries and one of the largest providers of glacé or candied fruit products. The company’s products are sold via branded and private label items to the retail, club stores, food service and industrial markets. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We believe that these operations are a complementary fit with our existing canned fruit business,” said Kraig Kayser, president and chief executive officer of Seneca. “We are very excited about this acquisition and the extension of product offerings it brings to our company. On behalf of the entire Seneca team, I welcome them to the organization.”

James Reynolds has led the growth of Gray & Company as CEO and principal owner since 1981.

“After 34 years at the helm, it is high time for me to secure the bright future of our business by transferring leadership and ownership to a much larger organization with a compatible culture and business to propel us for the next 35 years,” Mr. Reynolds said. “This union with Seneca is a very good day indeed for our employees, growers and customers. I am delighted.”

Seneca Foods is a provider of packaged fruits and vegetables, with facilities located throughout the United States. Its products are primarily sourced from more than 2,000 American farms. Seneca holds the largest share of the retail private label, food service, and export canned vegetable markets, distributing to more than 90 countries. Products also are sold under such brands as Libby’s, Aunt Nellie’s, READ, and Seneca.

Founded in 1908 in Portland, Ore., Gray & Company is a privately held corporation with more than a century of tradition as a fruit processor, and today stands as the world’s largest producer of maraschino cherries. Gray & Company has processing facilities in Oregon and Michigan.

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