Coral Gables, Fla.-based Del Monte Fresh Produce has agreed to purchase Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing for $361 million.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, according to a news release.
“Mann Packing’s strength in the vegetable category, one of the fastest-growing fresh food segments, will provide us with synergies, enhancing our ability to better serve our combined customers and address consumers’ needs for healthier products,” Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Del Monte chairman and CEO, said in the release. “This acquisition is a significant step toward our goal to be the world’s leading supplier of healthful, wholesome and nutritious fresh and prepared food and beverages for consumers.”
Mann Packing sales in 2017 were $535 million.
“Everyone at Mann is excited with this development,” Lorri Koster, chairman and CEO of Mann Packing, said in the release. “We share Del Monte’s values and commitment of providing fresh, high-quality produce based foods that are nutritious and delicious. Both our companies have been successful in their own right with their superior quality, service and value to our customers and consumers in all channels throughout North America. This will only be enhanced by combining the business expertise and skills of two of the industry’s premiere organizations.”
Everything you buy has one thing in common – it was delivered to the store by a truck driver. Although not something you think about when you pull a container of Wish Farm strawberries from the shelf, or grab a few of Del Monte’s Mango cups, but everything was delivered there on a truck.
Sometimes the products are local and other times they cross the world to make it to your shelf. In this perspective, it’s easy to see the ones who are responsible for delivering these goods have a lot of power. There’s an old saying that goes, “If trucking stops, America stops too.” Meaning we need these drivers on the road doing what they do – picking up and delivering various goods and products.
But there is a rising problem of finding enough drivers to cover the loads currently available. Which in turn, drives prices even higher (no pun intended). And the cycle continues to trend upward. This puts pressure on the whole supply chain. Transportation managers realize how much money their drivers can make on the next load. So they want them to get to the destination, unload, and pick the next one up. This is making trucking more stressful for drivers, which in turn is actually hurting the problem. Drivers get fed up and quit, then cannot be replaced.
Although new people are entering trucking school every day, the sign of a growing economy is a higher demand for truck drivers. Therefore unfortunately, the industry will likely face a driver shortage for a long time.