Hormel Foods Announces Formation of Joint Venture with Carapelli USA

Jan 26, 2000, 00:00 ET from Hormel Foods

    AUSTIN, Minn., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ --
 Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:   HRL), multinational marketer of
 consumer-branded meat and food products, today announced the formation of a
 joint venture to market the Carapelli brand of olive oil in the United States.
     The Austin, Minn.-based company agreed to terms with Eridania Beghin-Say
 (EBS), a diversified manufacturer headquartered in Paris, France, to form a
 joint venture, known as Carapelli USA, L.L.C.  This venture will be
 responsible for the national introduction of the Carapelli line of olive oils
 in retail stores throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
     Carapelli, founded in 1893, was a family-owned Tuscan company until it was
 acquired by EBS in 1989.  Carapelli is based just south of Florence, Italy.
     The Carapelli line consists of four varieties of olive oil, consisting of
 premium extra virgin, extra virgin, mild and light, available in three sizes
 of bottles, including 8.5, 17 and 26.5 ounces.  These olive oils are excellent
 for use in frying, baking, sautes, pastas, sauces, salads and marinades as
 well for recipe ingredients and for flavoring entrees and side dishes.
     "We are very pleased to have entered into this joint venture with such a
 renowned and highly regarded brand as Carapelli," said V. Allan Krejci, vice
 president of public relations with Hormel Foods.  "Both Hormel Foods and
 Eridania Beghin-Say bring special skills to this venture.  Hormel Foods offers
 its strong sales and marketing expertise, category management, customer
 service and logistics skills and successful track record of growth in many
 ethnic brands.  Carapelli brings important knowledge of the world's leading
 olive oil markets, significant skills in sourcing raw materials, a strong
 research and development background, top manufacturing processes and global
     Sales of Carapelli olive oil worldwide total $170 million a year with 80
 percent of these sales in Italy and 20 percent in other countries.  Carapelli
 is the number one brand of olive oil in Italy.
     "The joint venture has a major opportunity to become a leader in the U.S.
 olive oil category, a business that is large and growing," said Krejci.
     The new joint venture is expected to stimulate sales of olive oil in the
 U.S. as consumers discover its many healthful benefits.  Olive oil is high in
 monounsaturated fat which helps lower cholesterol, is naturally
 cholesterol-free and is rich in vitamins A, E and D.  Containing no salt,
 olive oil is high in lecithin which is a natural antioxidant that stimulates
 the metabolism of fats, sugars and protein, and can reduce the risk of
 arteriosclerosis as well as some forms of cancer.
     Carapelli USA plans to support the rollout of these olive oils with an
 extensive marketing campaign unmatched by other competitive brands.  This will
 include a variety of advertisements, special events and sponsorships.
     The joint venture is part of an ongoing strategy by Hormel Foods to
 enhance its presence in the ethic foods arena.  The company currently markets
 multiple brands of Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian and Indian foods under the
 Chi-Chi's, Herdez, El Torito, Marrakesh Express, Patak's, House of Tsang and
 Peloponnese brands.
     "Carapelli olive oils are an excellent strategic fit for the Grocery
 Products Division, building another major brand in our ethnic foods area,"
 said Krejci.
     Hormel Foods has other subsidiaries, licensees and affiliate arrangements
 with companies in more than a dozen foreign countries.  These include Pure
 Foods in Manila, Philippines; Tulip International in Arhus, Denmark; Campofrio
 Alimentacion, S.A., in Madrid, Spain; and KR Hormel Foods in Brisbane,
 Australia.  The company exports products to more than 50 countries.

SOURCE Hormel Foods