[Back to Corporate Page]
Ralph D. McRae,
Chairman and CEO
Leading Brands, Inc.
(604) 214-9722 ext. 238
Howard E. Wishner
Leading Brands of America, Inc.
(203) 323-9435 Ext. 3004
Strategic Growth International
Stan Altschuler/David Waldman
Leading Brands, Inc. Announces Termination
of Distribution Arrangement with Energy Brands
VANCOUVER, British Columbia-- Aug. 20, 2002-- Postponement of Introduction of PopStraw Progress Towards Other Key Product Launches on Track
Leading Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: LBIX, TSX: LBI) Canada's largest independent, fully integrated brand management company, announces that it has agreed to terminate its relationship with Energy Brands for the distribution of Glaceau Vitamin Water and Go-Go Passion Energy Drink. The Company has also decided to postpone the introduction of PopStraw in its Johnny's Roadside® line of lemonades and iced teas, likely to Spring 2003.
Leading Brands Chairman and CEO Ralph D. McRae said: "We were recently advised by Energy Brands of their intention to discontinue their Go-Go Passion Energy Drink and we have consequently ceased distribution in Canada. Go-Go was producing limited sales for us and was a distant third in our energy drink line-up to Hansen's Energy and newly-introduced Base."
"Coinciding with that we agreed to terminate all of our relationships with Energy Brands, including our agreement for distribution of their Vitamin Water product in Canada. We were particularly troubled by two developments. First, the introduction of a plethora of 'vitamin-enhanced' drinks by Energy Brands' competitors that would limit any first mover advantage and, second, Energy Brands' insistence that we not hire any of their employees to support our US expansion, in any circumstance. These were conditions that we were simply not prepared to accept.
Mr. McRae added: "Our decision to push back the introduction of PopStraw was driven by the simple fact that we are extremely busy with the launch of our new TREK Optimized Performance Beverages and Pez® 100% Juice lines. Demand for Trek continues to exceed all of our expectations as we continue our market-by-market rollout and ramp up of production. We remain on track for launch of Pez® 100% Juice by the end of Summer 2002."
"I also have a personal request. We receive numerous calls each week from shareholders anxious to know the progress of our launches. We try to take the time to answer these on a personal basis, but the call volume has become simply overwhelming. National product rollouts of this nature take time.
We urge those who have questions about the progress of TREK to consult the www.trekenergy.com website where, starting in a week or so you will be able to locate retailers who carry the product. We will also find a way to keep people abreast of the particulars of the rollout of Pez® 100% Juice(TM), when the time is appropriate. We are also considering initiating quarterly conference calls to discuss periodic developments."
We Build Brands(TM)
About Leading Brands, Inc.