|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 [email protected]
|Strategic Growth International
Stan Altschuler/David Waldman
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Leading Brands, Inc. North American Bottling Division Announces: Major New Co-Packing Agreements with Three Major Beverage Companies
VANCOUVER, British Columbia-- Oct. 9, 2002-- Anticipated Aggregate 4,000,000 Incremental Cases of Annual Production
Leading Brands, Inc. LBIX (TSX:LBI), Canada's largest independent, fully integrated brand management company, announces that it has entered into three new co-packing agreements to provide major new volumes to its plants.
The Company has agreed with Ocean Spray International to extend the term of their bottling agreement and also add new package sizes to the portfolio bottled for them. As part of this new arrangement the Company will work with Ocean Spray in developing new products and ideas.
The Company has also signed an agreement with a large North American company in the fast growing ready to drink alcoholic beverage market, to bottle their Western United States volume. This arrangement will result in Leading Brands materially increasing production scope and capacity to accommodate the new business.
The Company has further agreed to bottle a variety of products for sale in Western Canada for a regional producer of juice and other beverage products.
North American Bottling President Tim Dagg said: "We are very proud to expand our relationship with Ocean Spray as well as establish new arrangements with these other two companies. We estimate that these new agreements will provide us with approximately 4,000,000 cases(1) of incremental volume for our plants. The plant modifications and line installations that accompany these deals will increase our overall plant capacity by more than 25% and allow us considerably more flexibility for new co-packing business and our new product launches. We anticipate that these contracts will be substantially accretive to earnings in 2003."
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