Posts Tagged “Mann Packing”

The Appeal of Electric Trucks; Acquisition of Mann is Completed by Del Monte

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A34The appeal of big rig electric trucks may be even bigger than thought….Plus, Del Monte completes its acquisition of Mann Packing.

Electric Trucks

Testla Inc. is the maker of the long-distance class-8 electric trucks scheduled to be introduced in 2019.  Now some fans of the new truck believe they will pay off the difference between electric and diesel trucks in as little as 18 months.  Jim Monkmeyer, president of DHL Supply Chain, who is one of the first to order the electric trucks, recent told Reuters the new trucks could pay for themselves this fast because of energy usage and low maintenance costs.  Engines for electric trucks are said to be much simpler in relation to the number of parts and complexities of the parts.

Additionally, based on the assumption diesel fuel costs will remain high, plus costs are projected to decrease for electric trucks, the saving could be even more than originally anticipated. anticipated.

Sysco Corp. of Houston already contracted to by 50 tractor-trailers,  while Meijer Inc. of Grand Rapids, MI is set up for an electric truck test drive.

Del Monte/Mann Acquisition

 Fresh Del Monte Produce of Coral Gables, FL  has finalized its acquisition of Mann Packing Co. Inc. of Salinas, CA for about $361 million.

Del Monte has been for years associated primarily with bananas, but more recently has been diversifying its business.  Purchasing Mann accelerates its efforts to become more invested in fresh-cut.  Its sales in the segment for 2017 were $607.8 million, up 18 percent from the previous year.

Mann’s product offering is roughly 50-50 between bulk vegetables and fresh-cut.   Del Monte recently spelled out some of its plans to incorporate Mann into its operations.  It was noted Mann is mainly on the West Coast with much less of a presence in the Northeast, but has little activity in the Southeast and Southwest of the U.S.  Thus, Del Monte is looking to develop new business in those regions.  It also is looking leverage its infrastructure across the U.S. to improve marketing and distribution of Mann Packing products.

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Fresh Del Monte and Mann Packing – A Potent Combination of Vast Innovation and Experience

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010By Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit

With relentless pressure on margins in all commodity produce driven by the ever-increasing power of large buyers, the necessity of innovation has never been greater.  Fresh Del Monte has invested in innovation, whether varietal — its Del Monte Gold Pineapple was the single greatest leverage tool in the produce industry for a while — or structural — methodically building a network of regional processors.  Now Fresh Del Monte decided, in one fell swoop, to buy an innovation factory and scale up its product line to be able to face retailers across a broader spectrum. We speak, of course, of the announcement that Fresh Del Monte will purchase Mann Packing.

From a business perspective, it is hard to think of a more synergistic acquisition. The storied Del Monte brand had its roots in vegetables, with canned green beans and the like creating billions of multi-generational impressions that have sunk into the collective sub-conscious of the nation and the world. Yet the fresh company had its strength in fruit — pineapples and bananas notably, but also fresh-fruit processing. Now, in one fell swoop, Fresh Del Monte has a division that is a leader in fresh-cut vegetables.

No business strategies have been announced, and for the moment, there will be no changes for customers. The Mann management team stays, and the company will operate just as before. But one doesn’t have to have inside information to imagine the Del Monte brand starting to appear on fresh-cut vegetable packs and other innovative products that Mann is known for.

The deal also points to the evolution in the business that is favoring multi-product companies. Once one company starts to broaden its range, others find the necessity to do the same; otherwise competitors, profiting on other lines, can eviscerate margins on the one competitive category and kill a business. Broad diversity of product, geography and customer type makes a company invulnerable to this strategy. So, Del Monte is acquiring not just a source for new product ideas and not just a new business line, but a strategically more defensible position in the industry.

The whole deal reminds us of something that has often been dismissed in recent times: The enormous value of experience. Deals like this involve many people doing many things but, despite its good sense, the deal might never have happened if Fresh Del Monte had not hired Emanuel Lazopoulos, now Senior Vice President of North America Sales, Marketing and Product Management.

Emanuel joined Fresh Del Monte back in 2005 to run its Fresh-Cut operation. His career, though, includes time as the Managing Director of NewStar Fresh Foods, as Vice President of DNA Plant Technology and as Vice President of Dole Fresh Vegetables — in other words, he spent a lot of time in Salinas. There are many companies that are buying other companies today — there is private equity and venture capital funds, for example. But for a family business like Mann, finding a home that will lead to success for grower partners, for employees, for the living embodiment of generations of sweat and tears, these are not trivial matters.

Over and over again, we have heard the same story: a team of super-smart, super-educated private equity analysts march into a business to review the numbers and do the analytics but also say they have no interest in touring the plant, so they turn off the very people they need to get excited about a potential combination. It is no stretch to imagine that decades of familiarity raised the comfort level and facilitated the deal.

There has been an enormous drain of produce experience from important produce companies and their retail customers. But deals like this remind us that though the loss may not always be evident or be easily quantified, it is real. One opportunity, one moment, one connection, can cover a lifetime of salary.

Selling a successful family business is always filled with both excitement and trepidation, hope and a tinge of melancholy.  But family businesses are always challenged by the mere passage of time. With each successive generation, ownership gets more diffused, difficult decisions have to be made about how to deal with the differing financial interests of those family members who work in the company and those who do not; estate taxes must be paid with each generation, and shareholders, once bound by love, respect, history, familiarity and propinquity — so often become strangers. If the right situation presents itself at the right time, a sale solves many problems and actually sets the business up for continued growth.

This particular story is a great drama. It includes great loss, but also stands as testament to the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit and the extraordinary importance of the individual.

It has a heroine… Lorri Koster, née Nucci, Chairman and CEO of Mann Packing Co., shepherded Mann through this process. She ran this ball down the field and carried it over the line. But she was not the football player in the family.

The plans once made called for her brother, Joe, to head up the company, who died several ago unexpectedly.  When these settled plans were disrupted, nine out of ten companies would have never recovered. But the Nucci’s and the Ramsey’s circled the wagons. Lorri’s father, Don Nucci, and Bill Ramsey jumped in, but Don died shortly thereafter.  Lorri, though, always connected to the family business, had left full time employment to try other things, including a stint at a produce dot com, setting up her own marketing agency, buying a local magazine.

But in the aftermath of the passing of both her brother and her father, this baseball Mom, with support of her sisters DeeDee and Gina, would come to guide Mann Packing to its present prosperity. To take a reputation for ethical business conduct, combine it with innovation, position it as Moms selling to Moms and complete the transformation of what was once the largest commodity broccoli shipper in the country into a kind of produce skunkworks that boosts sales and consumption with the quality of ideas well-executed.

Fresh Del Monte is a good home for Mann. The company knows growers, has facilities that can be jointly leveraged — say regional vegetable processing — it won’t run from a food safety issue, and both companies combined can leverage transportation and procurement.

This story, though, tells us that buildings and equipment are just the public manifestation of the story. It is the character of people that matters more than anything. Emanuel had to be seen as a man of good character and integrity; not having been in Salinas would have been a negative. Lorri had to undertake responsibilities when others might not have done so. She had to persevere under tragic circumstances when others would have not been able to. Amidst darkness, she had to broadcast a light that would inspire others to follow —and she did.

In business, everyone will look for opportunities to trade and engage with the new, larger, Fresh Del Monte, but the profit to be derived by watching this deal is the lesson that experience matters, that perseverance matters and the character matters —above all.

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Mann Packing Breaks Ground on New Processing Facility

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Mannby Mann Packing Company

SALINAS, Calif. – Mann Packing,  an industry leading supplier of premium fresh vegetables, broke ground in August on its new processing facility in Gonzales, California. The groundbreaking ceremony featured company representatives, local government officials and business leaders.

Headquartered in Salinas, California, Mann’s selected the City of Gonzales for its 130,000 square foot expansion project because of its convenient location and zoned industrial area.  The company has a further land base at the same location to accommodate future expansions. 250 people will be employed at the new facility.

Sixty-five percent of the company’s manufacturing volume will relocate from Salinas to the Gonzales facility. Mann’s location at 1250 Hansen Street in Salinas will continue to process fresh-cut vegetables, but will mainly serve as the company’s central warehouse, cooling and shipping facility.

Construction of the facility is targeted for completion in early 2018, with production beginning in spring. The facility was designed with the goal of achieving electric sustainability and will utilize a windmill turbine to supply energy for heating and cooling.

“We are proud to announce our new home in Gonzales and excited to be part of this thriving business community,” said Lorri Koster, chairman & CEO at Mann’s. “This project represents the beginning of a partnership and a culmination of years of planning to create a facility which will serve as an anchor for the company’s fresh processing needs,” she added.

About Mann Packing Company

Founded in 1939, Mann Packing is an industry leading, third-generation supplier of premium fresh vegetables. Headquartered in Salinas, Mann’s is one of the largest suppliers of western vegetables, Broccolini® and sugar snap peas in North America. The firm holds the distinguished Women’s Owned Business Certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council – the most widely recognized and respected certification in the United States for women’s business enterprises. Leading the way in product innovation, environmental sustainability and green supply chain management practices, Mann Packing is consistently vigilant in food safety, employee wellness and quality assurance, making for one of the most trusted brands in the industry.


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Mann Packing To Partner With California Walnuts

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Mannby Mann Packing Co., Inc.

SALINAS, Calif. – Mann Packing announced a partnership with the California Walnut Board for two of its innovative Vegetable Slaw Blends: Power Blend and Kale Beet Blend.

The promotion includes $1.50 off per pack of slaw when any 7.5oz or larger package of California walnuts is purchased. The promotion will run for two weeks from the end of July through mid-August.

“Recognizing California walnuts’ versatility and variety of health benefits, a partnership featuring our slaw blends is a wonderful opportunity to boost summer sales,” said Gina Nucci, director of corporate marketing at Mann’s. “Mann’s is committed to collaborating and creating a synergy with organizations like the California Walnut Board, and we look forward to working with them to complement each other’s strengths,” she added.

California Walnuts was established in 1948 and represents over 4,800 walnut growers and more than 90 walnut handlers in California.  One of the Board’s key efforts is promoting the usage of walnuts across the U.S. through advertising, publicity and educational programs.

“Walnuts are a perfect ingredient for summer salads and we are delighted to partner with Mann Packing on this Summer Slaw promotion,” said Michelle Connelly, executive director of the California Walnut Board.  “Additionally, the combination of these superfoods packs a delicious punch of nutrition.”

Additional promotions will be available at Safeway, Albertsons, Meijer, Wakefern, Raleys, Schnucks, and Giant Eagle, among others.

About Mann Packing

In the late 1930’s, when the United States was beginning to recover from the Great Depression, a young Stanford graduate came to California’s Salinas Valley seeking employment. H.W. “Cy” Mann began his career trimming fruit and lettuce for 40¢ an hour. In 1939, he opened a fresh carrot packing operation and a business was born. From day one, Mr. Mann built a reputation for honesty and integrity—one that remains with us today.

In 1976 Bill Ramsey and Don Nucci joined Mr. Mann as partners in the company. Today, the Nucci and Ramsey families lead the firm which now spans three generations. They are a majority women-owned and operated business, and one of the country’s leading suppliers of fresh vegetables, including its proprietary Broccolini® product and award-winning Stringless Sugar Snap Peas.

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Girlfriends Guide for Moms has Free Veggie Recipes Online

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IMG_6871By Mann Packing

As part of the company’s “moms helping moms” initiative, Mann Packing Company of Salinas, CA created the Girlfriends Guide for Moms electronic brochure for distribution this summer.

The Girlfriends Guide for Moms is available free online via Mann’s Facebook page and via links tweeted from the @veggiesmadeeasy Twitter account.

The Girlfriends Guide for Moms was created to provide moms with summer recipes in one printable brochure so they can serve a great meal and enjoy summer at the same time, said Gina Nucci, director of healthy culinary innovation.

Nucci also wrote a personal note as part of the brochure.

“We want to let our fellow moms know that we understand the challenges of balancing kids’ activities, work, household chores AND putting a meal on the table every night,” Nucci said.  “This guide has some of our favorite recipes featuring easy-to-make healthy items with Butternut Squash, Broccolini®, Sugar Snap® Peas and Broccoli Slaw.”

Further plans include two additional editions of the Girlfriends Guide to release in the late summer and early fall.

For more information about Mann Packing, please visit

About Mann Packing Company

Mann Packing Company, Inc., located in Salinas, Calif., is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fresh vegetables. Mann Packing Company is certified as a women’s business enterprise through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the US. We encourage the commitment to supplier diversity that is embraced by corporations and government agencies today

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