Seneca Foods Finalizes Acquisition of Maraschino Cherry Business from Burnette Foods

On February 02, 2018, the Seneca Foods announced that it has completed the acquisition of maraschino cherry business from Burnette Foods, Inc. The financial details and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Key Highlights of the deal

Burnette Foods’ maraschino cherry business is based in Traverse City, Michigan and the acquisition will allow Seneca to supplement its existing maraschino operations. Simultaneously, Burnette Foods will be able to expand its core business. Burnette Foods offers three varieties of maraschino cherries – Red Maraschinos, Red Maraschinos with Stems, and Green Maraschinos – and in different container and packaging options. Its products are kosher certified and are available for Private Label Retail, Food Service, and Packer Brands.

Seneca has been strengthening its maraschino cherries business via select strategic acquisitions over the years. In February 2016, its subsidiary, Gray & Co. had acquired Santa Clara, California-based Diana Fruit Co., Inc., one of the leading providers of maraschino cherries and fruit cocktail cherries. Interestingly, Seneca had acquired Hart, Michigan-based Gray & Co., in November 2015. Gray & Co. is the world’s leading provider of maraschino cherries and one of the largest providers of glace or candied fruit products.

Management Comments

Commenting on the acquisition, Kraig Kayser, Seneca’s President and CEO, said:

“Burnette’s maraschino business has a history of providing quality maraschino cherry products to their customers. We are very excited about this acquisition as it is a nice complementary fit with Seneca’s existing cherry business.”

William R. Sherman, CEO of Burnette Foods, added:

“We are pleased to be able to sell our maraschino business to a high-quality food producer as is Seneca. Maraschinos are a small part of our total sales and this transaction will enhance our ability to concentrate on our core business lines of shelf stable fruit fillings, apple products, vegetables and juices. We will continue to explore new products for our existing red tart and dark sweet cherry offerings.”

About Seneca Foods Corp.

Seneca is one of the leading provider of packaged fruits and vegetables in North America and sources its high-quality products from over 2,000 American farms. Apart from the core business of packaged fruit and vegetables, its product portfolio includes snack chips, sauces, gravies, and natural coloring agents. Seneca has captured a major market share of the retail private label, food service, and export canned vegetable markets. It also sells its products under brands like Libby’s®, Aunt Nellie’s®, Green Valley®, CherryMan®, READ®, Seneca Farms®, and Seneca labels, including Seneca snack chips. Additionally, the Company provides contract packing services through its wholly owned subsidiary Truitt Bros., Inc. It also provides vegetable products under the Green Giant label as per a contract packing agreement with B&G Foods North America. The Company has 21 processing plants throughout the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest and distributes its products to over 90 countries.

About Burnette Foods, Inc.

Burnette’s is a family-owned Company and one of the largest producers of shelf-stable fruits and vegetables in the US. The Company started off as a cherry farm in East Jordan, Michigan and has grown by reinvesting in the business through acquisitions and organic growth. The Company’s products include apple cider, applesauce, canned apples and fruit, canned, dry pack beans, canned vegetables, fruit fillings and toppings, fruit juices, meat items, and salads and pumpkin. The Company has processing facilities concentrated in the western border of Michigan including at East Jordan, Elk Rapids, New Era, Hartford, Traverse City, and Burnette Farms each of which specializes in a specific product set. The Hartford location produces apple products and fruit juices, the Elk Rapids plant produces fruit fillings and apple slices, the New Era plant produces vegetable products and the East Jordan plant produces a combination of vegetable and fruit products. The Company is primarily a private label producer and its customers include major retailers, wholesale food producers and the USDA.

SOURCE:, Feb. 2018

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