Mariani Packing Company’s CEO, Mark Mariani, announced another FIRST in the dried fruit industry. The century old family company purchased the globally recognized cranberry processing facility, Urban Processing, LLC. Mariani is the largest independent dried fruit packer, and now with the acquisition of Urban Processing, is the only company to be “vertically integrated” in the 3 largest segments of the dried fruit industry. With over 80% of the United States’ dried fruit consumption being in raisins, prunes and cranberries, Mariani Packing will be the only company to deliver all 3 products from farm to plate.
“There could be no better time to make this investment,” says President, George Sousa Jr. “There has been tremendous growth of dried cranberries in the last 10 years, in fact they are now the second segment to raisins in total category sales. With 60% of cranberries coming from Wisconsin, Mariani’s decision to purchase the processing facility in Wisconsin positions us to truly be leaders in the marketplace.”
“Dried cranberries are a ‘healthy...good for you’ snack alternative with so many versatile applications in home - baking ingredients, cereal and salad toppings to name a few. It’s no wonder dried cranberries are the fastest growing segment within the category,” says Marketing Director, Miranda Ackerman.
Cranberries are not a new item for Mariani. In fact, Mariani is the second leading brand of cranberries and cranberries are the best selling item in the company’s vast retail product line. Urban Processing is a family owned company that has been growing and processing cranberries in Wisconsin Rapids for many years. With the growth of cranberries over the last two decades, Wisconsin has become the largest cranberry producing state in the U.S, accounting for over 400 million of a near 700 million pound annual crop.
Mariani’s decision to invest in a family run company is no surprise. “As a family we’ve had the opportunity to know the Urban for several years,” says Mark Mariani, “They have enormous integrity as a family, in the way they’ve run Urban Processing, and in their business relationships. They’ve brought the strictest standards to their facility and we are fortunate to carry on their legacy.”
“The family’s decision to make this investment in cranberries is exciting in many ways,” says Mark, “But most importantly being the only company to complete the full cycle from purchasing to processing to packaging, with the three top commodities—raisins, prunes, and cranberries, we have a real competitive advantage that will allow us to better serve our Brand, Private Label, Ingredient and International customers, with quality products our customers can trust.”