Grace patties making a great turnover in US market

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, June 15, 2018

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A year after diversifying into the business of manufacturing and distributing frozen patties, conglomerate GraceKennedy is already boasting on an increased sale of the product by 200 per cent.

In fact, at the end of May, the company saw sales of its frozen patties move up by 300 per cent. Group CEO Don Wehby, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, said the improved performance was reflective of more Latinos purchasing the product.

“What the data is showing is that we have crossed over — it's not only Caribbean people. There is also some indication that citizens of the US are purchasing the patties. When we did further research we found that they are buying it for their children for school,” Wehby told Caribbean Business Report.

The conglomerate, which currently distributes patties to over 240 Walmart stores in Atlanta, Florida and New Jersey, has now expanded its footprint to include Target stores. Branded 'turnovers' to better reflect the wider American market, the product is also listed in Winn-Dixie supermarkets and can be found in south Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties; central Florida in the Orlando/Orange county area; and in many independent chains, including Broward Meat & Fish, Bravo Supermarkets and Presidente supermarkets.

Wehby plans on securing US$10 million from the distribution of the product, which is produced in three flavours — spicy beef, mild beef and curry chicken. They are priced between US$2.99 and US$3.69 for two patties in each retail box.

Wehby disclosed that the company is now looking to increase its spend on the marketing and promotion of the product as it seeks to expand into the northeast and West Coast of the US come 2019.

“We are happy. One of the things that we need to do is to see if there is a possibility to backward integrate, meaning working with our suppliers to ensure that they can sustain this level of growth. We are strong in the southeast — Florida going up to Atlanta — so we are going to increase our distribution on the northeast,” Wehby said.

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