As of August 11, Mitsui Foods Inc (MFI) became the exclusive distributor in the United States and Canada for Yantai North Andre Juice Co's (YNA's), apple juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate and apple essence.
The YNA products will be managed by MFI's newly created Ingredients Division where they are expected to "greatly strengthen" the company's product portfolio and supply base.
"The Ingredients Division will continue to focus its procurement and sales efforts in the ingredients and raw materials arena, particularly juice concentrates, organic juices and fruit products, essences, purees, citrus oils and flavor ingredients," said the company in a statement.
Headquartered in New Jersey, Mitsui Foods Inc (MFI) is a subsidiary of Japanese firm Mitsui & Co, one of the world's top 11 largest corporations, with sales exceeding $108bn in 2003.
Just last month, MFI announced its acquisition of fruit ingredient firm Hartog. MFI, which primarily supplies seafood, fruit and vegetable products to the foodservice and retail, plans to leverage Hartog's reputation as a global supplier of processed fruit and vegetable products to the food and beverage industry.
And the new distribution agreement strengthens this position.
"The alignment with Yantai North Andre adds great value to the Ingredients Division. The supply chain capability that is forged by these alignments, and the strength that it brings to our portfolio, places Mitsui Foods, Inc. at the forefront of the apple and pear juice concentrate categories within the ingredients industry," said Gene Grant, vice president and general manager of the Ingredients Division.
Headquartered in Shandong province, YNA owns seven production lines in six production plants situated in China's main apple producing provinces: Shandong, Shaanxi, Jiangsu and Liaoning. YNA's designed processing capacity currently reaches 220,000 tons.