FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: RAINFOREST DISTRIBUTION ACQUIRES ASSOCIATED BUYERS
January 2, 2024 – Barrington, NH – Rainforest Distribution Corp. (“Rainforest”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Associated Buyers, LLC (“Associated Buyers”). This combination will provide our value chain partners with increased operational efficiencies and service levels; a deeper focus on executing retail programs; and additional support for local and emerging brands.
“Both Rainforest and Associated Buyers share a deep commitment to bring healthy foods, product innovation, and best-in-class service to the communities they serve. In addition to strengthening our ability to meet those commitments, this combination will further provide local and emerging food brands with a more robust platform to scale and reach the end-consumer.” said Alexander Ridings, CEO of Rainforest. “Rainforest welcomes the customers, suppliers, and team members of Associated Buyers to the Rainforest Team.”
Karta Owens, President of Associated Buyers said, “Our goals have always been to be honorable, respectful, kind, and equitable with our industry partners, and we have shared in the successes and challenges of our valued suppliers and customers over the years. We are proud to have been the jumping off point for so many unique producers and brands, and to have seen communities grow up around the stores and restaurants we supplied. We’re excited for the next chapter of this journey, strengthening these partnerships through new opportunities and offerings that Rainforest can bring to the table. We couldn’t have found a better organization to carry on the mission we began with 40 years ago, to support the well-being of people and our planet through the food we provide.”
Rainforest and Associated Buyers each value their long standing industry partnerships and are excited about the opportunities this combination will create for our customers, manufacturing suppliers, and the end consumers. Rainforest will begin directly servicing the existing customers of Associated Buyers on February 28, 2024.
Rainforest Distribution Corp. is a full-service food and beverage distributor serving more than 3,000 retailers in fifteen states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States. Rainforest offers more than 5,000 high-velocity and on-trend SKUs in ambient, refrigerated, and frozen formats. With distribution centers in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, Rainforest offers customized distribution solutions designed to ensure customer success in an increasingly competitive marketplace. In addition to its expansive company-owned direct-store-delivery network, Rainforest’s extensive sales and merchandising network adds value through expertise in high-touch perishables, local & emerging brands, custom retail programs, and the execution of first-to-market concepts.
Associated Buyers has been a mainstay in the New England regional natural food economy for over 40 years, offering bulk goods, global flavors, small-batch and hand-crafted specialty foods from a diverse group of suppliers. Operating under family-ownership for 36 years, AB grew from a handful of employees to a full-scale regional distribution operation, offering over 4,000 items to our customers throughout New England. Along the way, AB became known as the go-to “first distributor” for natural, organic, and specialty food producers in the region, supporting their growth from local to regional brands and helping launch thousands of successful lines over the years. The multitude of businesses that make up AB’s customer base – retail grocers and co-op markets, restaurants, bakeries, delis, schools and institutions, and buying clubs – have come to AB for unique, local, honest products, and given us the honor of their business and their friendships, for which we are truly grateful. The regional food economy is a diverse, resilient, and equitable place because of the dedication of our suppliers and customers, and we have been incredibly proud to have played a small role in everyone’s success.