DEAR FELLOW SHAREHOLDERS:
LBIX MONTHLY NEWSLETTEROur seasonal transition in focus from beverage to food products went very well this year. Demand for our crackers and cookies has been as strong as ever. That combined with the more than 15% absolute improvement in the Canadian/US dollar exchange rate over this time last year is of definite advantage to us.
We are a week away from producing our first Soy2O™ cases. We are busily signing new distributors and arranging for listings in both Canada and the US. The first product will ship to the US shortly and will be followed on with Canadian sales in the New Year. We are cautiously optimistic about the growing interest we are seeing for this unique product. It appears that Soy2O™ has an appeal far beyond our initial target of health-oriented outlets. As it is one of the only truly new beverages to hit the market this year there is a pent up demand amongst distributors that we hope to satiate. Pricing will be targeted to favorably compare this value-added beverage with a conventional bottle of 16oz juice.
TREK® Nitro™ Turbo Berry™ will be on its way to market in the next few days as well. That new red liquid is launched coincident with the separation of the Hydrators™ from the Nitros™, which step we announced a couple of months ago.
One other very encouraging sign is the amount of international interest we are starting to see in our brands. It is sometimes easy to assume that the product development breakthroughs we initiate in North America are being duplicated by others elsewhere. That is usually not the case. As word of our brands gets to new markets the number of inquiries for distribution arrangements abroad increase. After a few years of trying, we are starting to develop some serious inroads for our tomato products in Latin America. That often leaves me wondering about the potential of Soy2O™ in places such as Japan and Taiwan…
Starting mid-month we will be making some additional changes to both our plants. New line configurations and equipment will help us dramatically improve on our results of last Summer. In the plan is installing new labeling equipment and some final tweaks to the new carbonated line in Richmond and adding new casing machinery and straightening our lines in Edmonton.
Holiday schedules will likely prevent us from releasing our Q3 results much before mid-January. Also, the next monthly newsletter will be February 1, 2004. So with that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best for the Holiday Season and a successful and prosperous 2004.
Thank you for your continued support.
LEADING BRANDS, INC.
Ralph D. McRae
Chairman & CEO
We Build Brands