Country Pure Foods, a portion juice processor, recently announced the purchase of the assets of The Ridgefield’s Brand Corporation, which includes Smooth-Frozen Ridgefield’s SideKicks and Cup Slushies products. Ridgefield’s 100% fruit juice products, will allow Country Pure Foods to provide their school nutrition customers with more meal choices for students.

“This line is a natural extension of our 100% vegetable and fruit juices that are served in schools today,” said Raymond Lee, President and Co-CEO of Country Pure Foods. “Ridgefield’s product line has shown steady growth, and we believe this will be accelerated by our extensive sales force that will provide rapid expansion into new markets. In addition, we plan to launch a new line extension that will credit as a vegetable. We hope to have this new product available to sample at the upcoming School Nutrition Association show in San Antonio this coming July, along with the existing Ridgefield’s SideKicks fruit juice line,” said Lee.

Ridgefield’s SideKicks qualify for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) federal reimbursement by crediting as a ½ cup fruit serving toward weekly USDA required totals. In addition, Ridgefield’s SideKicks are compliant with the new “Smart Snack” rule, which sets standards for items that can be sold in a school’s à la carte program, providing an added revenue stream for school nutrition departments.

As guidelines for school nutrition programs become more rigid, it is important to offer healthy solutions that drive students to the cafeteria. Lunch participation rates determine federal reimbursements and are key to the financial health of school nutrition departments. Ridgefield’s SideKicks option may increase the rate of fruit consumption by students at meal time because of its vibrant color, texture and rich flavors.