LBIX MONTHLY NEWSLETTERAs Labor Day comes and goes, the focus on our business shifts gear. It is a time to assess the things we have done right over the summer and also a time to critique areas that require improvement. This allows us to better set the stage for next year. It is also when changes occur to the type of business we do. By dint of season the mix of products we sell and produce shifts from single-serve, thirst-quenching beverages to multi-serve, juice-based products, cookies and crackers.
Our plants have made great strides in assimilating the new business we threw at them. There were certainly stresses and strains associated with the extent of the change that we encountered, but it has left us with significant new equipment, capacity and volume – if not to mention a few battle scars. Over the Fall and Winter we will focus on improving our systems and efficiencies in order to better deal with that onslaught next year.
The Canadian Distribution Division has continued to excel throughout the first half of the year. My hat goes off to those guys for the way that they have profitably managed some pretty exciting growth. For next year we will concentrate on how to take many of our brands to ‘the next level’ of distribution and prominence.
With Leading Brands of America we are presently reviewing how we are going to market. Although we are coming off our best month ever there, we need to re-jig a few things to get a better bang for our buck and allow us to focus on the many markets that are really working for us. A lot of those initiatives are well under way and we will have things better fleshed out by next month.
As for our brands, we are very excited about the progress that TREK® has made in Canada. We are two and a half times ahead of our forecasts there. The brand is growing strong and our listing base is improving rapidly. In the US, we have not had the same lift we have experienced in Canada. There are a few readily identifiable reasons for that and we are addressing them. It was a mistake for us to have removed the caribiner from the US product and we are making that change back.
As mentioned last month, we are providing a more individual identity to the Nitro category; making sure it screams “Energy Drink”. As for the Hydrators, we have a couple of ‘tweaks’ left to do – of which one involves our putting the caribiners back on the bottle.
Pez® 100% Juices™ continue their roll out. We are waiting for results from some of our larger test markets and are pursuing more and more listings. Mad Croc™ sales continue to grow each month and we are getting ready to load in the ‘Croc 4-pack’ to 7-Eleven® this month.
As announced earlier, we are preparing for the launch of a new product in October. We anticipate that will happen in conjunction with the National Association of Convenience Store Convention in Chicago in mid-October. Look for more soon on that front.
Thank you for your continued support.
LEADING BRANDS, INC.
Ralph D. McRae
Chairman & CEO
We Build Brands