Leading Brands, Inc. Signs License Agreement with PEZ Candy, Inc. to Manufacture and Distribute PEZ Juice Drinks Throughout the United States and Canada.
Measured awareness of PEZ is extremely high: 97% of teens, 89% of adults with children and 87% of total adults 18 to 44 years old.
VANCOUVER, CANADA - January 15, 2002 - LEADING BRANDS, INC. Canada's largest independent, fully integrated food and beverage brand management company, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a multi-year license agreement with PEZ Candy, Inc. of Orange, Connecticut for the design, manufacture and distribution of PEZ Juice Drinks for sale throughout the United States and Canada.
Leading Brands is designing a unique package that will incorporate the well-known attributes of PEZ into a line of natural, preservative-free juice drinks targeted at 8 to 14 year olds. The new product will address what Leading Brands believes to be a gap in the market: a fun, healthful product that Moms can buy for their kids and that their kids will eagerly consume.
Leading Brands Chairman & CEO Ralph D. McRae said: "This is a huge opportunity for our company. We have been searching for more than a year for the right product to spearhead our US expansion and we believe we have found it with PEZ. The PEZ brand has almost universal recognition amongst kids and their parents. It is a fun product that lends itself well to an extension into beverages.
Although we are presently keeping our new package concept a secret, we are confident that, when released, the market will have never seen anything like it."
PEZ was founded in Vienna, Austria in 1915 with the first PEZ dispenser distributed in 1927. The product made its way to the United States in 1952. This year will mark PEZ's 50th anniversary in North America.
PEZ is the pioneer of 'interactive' candy. Collectors from kids to adults have initiated fan clubs, newsletters, collector magazines and conventions. Over 3 billion PEZ candies are consumed annually in the United States alone.
PEZ dispensers and licensed products have been auctioned at Christie's in New York and many PEZ dispensers have increased up to 1000% in value. There are more than 100 PEZ web sites. The PEZ dispensers have been featured on Seinfeld, Rosie O'Donnell, Jay Leno, David Letterman, The Pretender, Party of Five, Murphy Brown, The Client, Toy Story, E.T., Stand By Me, and other TV programs and movies.
Leading Brands anticipates launch of PEZ Juice Drinks in Canada and specific markets in the US in the Spring of 2002.
About Leading Brands, Inc.
Leading Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:LBIX) is North America’s only fully integrated premium beverage company. The Company’s unique Integrated Distribution System (IDS) ™ offers turnkey, one-stop shopping to food and beverage brand owners, including manufacturing, distribution, sales/marketing and licensing. In addition, Leading Brands produces their own line of beverages such as TrueBlue®, LiteBlue®, TREK® Natural Sports Drinks, NITRO® Energy Drinks, INFINITY® Health Water™, Country Harvest® Juices, and Caesar’s® Cocktails.
Forward Looking Statements
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.