US – Frutura Produce in California has struck a duo of fruit deals in the berries category, snapping up Sun Belle and Giddings Fruit.
David Krause, the CEO of Frutura, based in the California city of Reedley, said the acquisitions are the most significant moves the business has made.
“Common ownership will unlock the value of these two tremendous companies in a profound way, for both our customers and grower-partners,” he said in a statement.
Chile-based Giddings Fruit, headquartered in Santiago, is an all-year-round supplier of organic and conventional berries and cherries. It has growing and packing operations in Mexico and South America.
Founder Julio Giddings becomes the company’s chairperson and will join Frutura’s board of directors.
“I’m delighted to grow our now-collective platform together and to open new global markets for Frutura as we seek to identify additional revenue streams,” Giddings said.
Sun Belle, located near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, also produces organic and conventional berries under its namesake brand and the Green Belle line.
Founder Janice Honigberg will continue as CEO of Sun Belle.
“This deal will unleash Sun Belle’s full potential to meet consumer desire for the best varieties of premium-quality fresh berries and other fruit in attractive and innovative packaging year-round,” Honigberg said.
Frutura also has a majority stake – acquired in 2021 – in the Peru-based fruit company Agricola Don Ricardo, which supplies grapes, mandarins, avocados and blueberries.
The same year, it purchased California-based Dayka & Hackett, which imports, sells and markets grapes, citrus, stone fruits, mangoes and avocados.
In other recent fruit deals, Spain’s Planasa took full control of its China blueberry subsidiary Meiming. Planasa itself was acquired by German family-owned investment company EW Group in September.
Again, in Spain, fruit growers and suppliers Grupo Clasol and Cooperativa San Alfonso in Valencia merged, while South Africa fresh produce supplier Capespan got a new majority owner.
In September, Viru Group acquired US frozen fruit and vegetable peer Superior Foods International and Grupo Hame bought Peru’s Agrokasa.
The global fresh berries export business is lucrative with the market size estimated at USD 24.77 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach USD 29.70 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 3.70% during the forecast period (2023-2028) according to a Mordor Intelligence report.
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