Status quo in Salinas for Fresh Express - The Packer

Status quo in Salinas for Fresh Express

08/10/2012 03:34:00 PM
Mike Hornick

No changes to operations at the Fresh Express plant in Salinas, Calif., are planned as a result of restructuring announced by parent company Chiquita Brands International Inc.

“Nothing is happening to our Salinas salad plant,” Chiquita spokesman Andrew Ciafardini said.

The facility on Blanco Road in Salinas is the largest of Fresh Express’ salad processing operations. The company is also keeping its research and development center on Brunken Avenue.

“About 50 employees are moving from our Blanco office space to the Brunken center, primarily as part of our relocation and consolidation efforts announced last November,” Ciafardini said.

Chiquita’s latest announcement came Aug. 7. In light of a 92% drop in profits year-over-year for the second quarter, the company said it will trim operations and seek a new chief executive officer.

One aspect of Chiquita’s plan is the consolidation of three salad plants in Franklin, Ill., into a single plant in Streamwood, Ill. Chiquita broke ground on the new plant in June. Ciafardini told The Packer it should be operating by February.

Fresh Express was founded in Salinas; its roots date to the 1920s. The first Fresh Express packaged salads were offered in 1989.

Performance Food Group bought Fresh Express in 2001 for about $290 million, and sold it to Chiquita in 2005 for $855 million.

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Salinas Ca  |  August, 10, 2012 at 08:39 PM

the end is in sight lost market share lost revenue-plant working less than 5 days per week adios Fresh Express!

Steve Scaroni    
Salinas, Heber, Yuma, GTO Mex  |  August, 13, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Not so fast Julio, Still a great brand, a logistics system best in class, the best Growers ( and Harvest Vendors) and .... Drum roll please... World class production level team.. You know "production" where the REAL value is added and work is done...

Parker Az.  |  August, 13, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Mr.Scaroni must be a CBI share holder.

Nogales  |  August, 16, 2012 at 01:11 AM

how could this happen? when FEX was owned by PFG it (allegedly) sold more than what CB is reporting today, Bananas included. FEX was shipping an avg. of 140kcs./day 360 ay/yr. in mid 2000's, something went terribly wrong, first rate company, with a first rate team and a #1 finished product. An unbelievable and priceless lesson in leadership.

John T.    
Seaside Ca  |  August, 18, 2012 at 04:58 AM

PFG mulls selling Fresh Express 09/20/2004 12:00:00 AM Andy Nelson ShareThis (Sept. 20) RICHMOND, Va. — The head of Performance Food Group said Sept. 16 the company might sell or spin off its Fresh Express bagged salad line, citing “the changing balance in our business between foodservice distribution and fresh produce processing.” Bob Sledd, PFG’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the company had hired investment banker Goldman, Sachs & Co., New York, to evaluate the role of fresh-cut produce in PFG’s overall business. Fresh Express is the top-selling bagged salad brand, and PFG’s fresh-cut division racked up an industry-best $933 million in sales in 2003. In a press release, the company said its options included but were not limited to the following: selling its fresh-cut division; creating a stand-alone business to run it; or continuing to run it within PFG. No deadline has been set for a decision. PFG bought Salinas, Calif.-based Fresh Express Inc. in 2001 for about $290 million. At the time, it was PFG’s biggest acquisition. PFG’s fresh-cut division buys, processes, packages and distributes salads and other fresh-cut products to food retailers, foodservice distributors, operators and quick-service restaurants nationwide. The company markets and distributes more than 64,000 national and private-label food and food-related products to about 48,000 restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, schools, healthcare facilities and other institutions.

September, 30, 2012 at 08:36 AM

Looking at the last 10k, the salad segment did $1 billion in revenue and Fresh Express was 20% of net sales in that segment.

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