Tree of Life Canada acquires Northbud Distributors

The specialty and natural food distributor acquires specialist in refrigerated and frozen value-added meat

Tree of Life Canada has acquired Northbud Distributors, a Canadian food distribution and brokerage business.

The agreement sees an increase in Tree of Life's frozen and refrigerated capabilities for retail, as well as its food service products, and fits in well with the company's perishable and fresh program.

“The addition of the Northbud portfolio gives us greater presence in the perimeter of the store categories that continue to experience high growth,” said Jamie Moody, president Tree of Life Canada in a release.

Northbud, known for its distribution of refrigerated and frozen value-added meat for more than 40 years, represents companies such as Kraft Foods, Buddig, Hillshire Brands and Advance Pierre Foods. Key brands include Clausson Pickles, Oscar Mayer bacon bits, Carl Buddig sliced meats and Et Tu Salad kits.

It's a complement to what we already do in the perimeter of the store with our cheese and deli programs, said Moody.

Brandon Barnholt, the president and CEO of KeHe Distributors based in Romeoville, Ill., parent company of Tree of Life Canada, added the acquisition is a perfect complement to its existing Canadian portfolio and is consistent with the company's growth strategy across North America.

Tree of Life Canada, for example already has the Carl Buddig sliced meats in Western Canada, so this alliance greatly expands its penetration in the meat categories, as well as providing a greater reach and capabilities for frozen products, said Moody. "Our strategy is to look for specialty, high value, high growth, added-value categories with a lot of innovation."

The Northbud business, which was primarily operated within Ontario, will now be able to be spread across the country with Tree of Life Canada's DSD sales force.

Over the next 12 months, Northbud Distributors will be merged into the Tree of Life Canada business. Tree of Life busines

As well, Peter Clarke, VP sales & marketing for Northbud will be joining Tree of Life Canada as the VP and GM of Northbud.

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