DEAR FELLOW SHAREHOLDERS:
There are a lot of positive changes going on in our company this month.
First, we are shifting out of direct to store distribution for a Western Canadian convenience chain and spreading those merchandising assets to the major population centers across Canada and the US Pacific Northwest. This historical distribution arrangement did not fit particularly well with our present method of going to market and our new structure allows us to better focus our resources specifically on building our brands. Starting this month, ten new TrueBlue®-identified vans will begin roaming the streets, opening new accounts and securing shelf space for our products. We will shortly be adding similar merchandising resources in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami and will expand and evolve this exciting program to support our increasing distribution. A graphic depiction of one of the TrueBlue® vans follows. In addition to providing greater in-store presence they also make fantastic traveling billboards.
On a slightly disappointing note, our Eastern TrueBlue® production has been delayed by a month or so due to a technical requirement with our production partner. We are working through this now. It is far more important to get it right and assure the consistency and quality of our brand than it is to rush and meet an artificial time schedule.
As I indicated last month, we have been reviewing our sales structure in both Canada and the United States. The growth of our existing brands and anticipated demand for our new ones has caused us to expand our sales force yet again. We are now looking to almost double our sales force by the end of 2006 by the addition of some 25 new sales and merchandising personnel. This is the third year in a row that we have done this and it should put us in very good stead for the upcoming season. It also allows us to move more and more people closer to the individual major markets we serve. This in turn permits us to be more flexible and reactive to our customers.
We have changed the name of "INFINITY™ Health Water" to "INFINITE HEALTH™ Water". We believe that this new name is more uniquely descriptive of the brand and its attributes. We have also received significant interest and demand for the brand from both sides of the border so instead of looking at a limited roll out we are now planning a North American-wide launch in the next couple of months. The new INFINITE HEALTH™ Water bottle and label designs are below.
Our California marketing program for TrueBlue® was a great success and we are now planning a Christmas campaign in additional major US and Canadian cities. With distribution becoming more firmly established we can turn additional resources and efforts toward building brand identity and awareness. Thank you for your continued support.
LEADING BRANDS, INC.
Ralph D. McRae
Chairman & CEO
Certain information contained in this press release includes forward-looking statements. Words such as “believe”, “expect,” “will,” or comparable terms, are intended to identify forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s expectations, beliefs, intentions, plans, objectives, future events or performance and other developments. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based on information available to the Company on the date hereof. Such statements speak only as of the date hereof. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s estimations and projections are disclosed in the Company’s securities filings and include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions, weather conditions, changing beverage consumption trends, pricing, availability of raw materials, economic uncertainties (including currency exchange rates), government regulation, managing and maintaining growth, the effect of adverse publicity, litigation, competition and other risk factors described from time to time in securities reports filed by Leading Brands, Inc.