to Corporate Page]
Ralph D. McRae
Chairman and CEO
Leading Brands, Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-729-2746 ext. 238
Paul Holm/Sheldon Lutch
LEADING BRANDS AND CLIFFSTAR CORPORATION
ANNOUNCE PRIVATE LABEL JUICE JOINT VENTURE
Creates Largest North American Private Label Juice Venture
VANCOUVER, Canada, -- September 27, 2000-Leading Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ: LBIX), Canada's largest independent, fully integrated food and beverage brand management company, and Cliffstar Corporation of Dunkirk, New York, the largest US independent private label juice company, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture to expand and better service their private label juice customers across North America. This is the largest venture of its kind in North America.
With manufacturing plants in Dunkirk, New York, Joplin, Missouri, Fontana, California and Greer, South Carolina and processing plants in Warrens, Wisconsin, East Freetown Massachusetts and Fredonia, New York, Cliffstar is the largest independent private label juice company in the United States. Employing more than 1,000 people, the company has doubled in size over the past five years. Cliffstar manufactures more than 145 quality corporate brand label fruit juices and drinks for leading grocery customers throughout North America. Cliffstar also buys grape, cranberry and apple fruit from over 500 independent growers.
With manufacturing plants in Vancouver, British Columbia and Edmonton, Alberta, Leading Brands is the largest independent brand management company in Canada. Leading Brands' private label juice division produces for all of the major grocery chains in its market area.
Together, Cliffstar and Leading Brands, create a formidable team that can provide the highest quality research, product development, ingredients and packaging found anywhere in North America. This arrangement also allows the two companies to continue to improve service levels by producing product closer to its ultimate market.
Cliffstar's President, Sean McGirr said, "This arrangement with Leading Brands complements our plan to build a North American-wide business to service the private label juice needs of our customers. We have been working with Leading Brands now for some time and believe that we will be able to effect a seamless integration of this business."
Leading Brands' Chairman and CEO, Ralph McRae added: "This will provide us with immediate access to business in the Northwest US where we have been looking to actively expand our reach. We will also be able to work closely with Cliffstar to expand our mutual product offerings, capitalizing on each other's considerable experience. We are looking forward with great anticipation to this relationship."
The companies will also work closely together to combine their buying power to their mutual advantage and further reduce costs.
About Cliffstar Corporation:
Cliffstar is the largest independent private label juice company in the United States. It manufactures quality corporate brand label fruit juices and beverages for leading food service, grocery, wholesale and mass merchandise accounts throughout North America.
About Leading Brands, Inc.:
Headquartered in Richmond, B.C., Canada, Leading Brands, Inc. is the largest independent food and beverage integrated brand management company in Canada. The Company's unique Integrated Distribution System (IDS) offers turnkey, one-stop shopping to food and beverage brand owners. Its Quick.com, Inc. subsidiary is building a consumer home replenishment system for the Internet economy.
# # #
NOTE: Any statements that are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking statements. It is possible that the assumptions made by management for purposes of such statements may not materialize. Actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied in any forward-looking statements. Such statements may involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those relating to product demand, pricing, market acceptance, the effect of economic conditions, including currency fluctuations, intellectual property rights, and the outcome of competitive products, risks in product development, the results of financing effort, the ability to complete transactions, and other risks identified in this release and the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.