Frozen French fry processorCavendish Farms, Moncton, N.B., Canada, said it purchased the frozen appetizer division ofOmstead Foods Ltd. The deal -- for an undisclosed amount -- includes the Omstead Appetizers name, processing equipment at the Wheatley, Ontario, appetizer plant and a lease on that facility.

The operation produces frozen coated cheese, vegetable, onion chip and onion ring products.

"Cavendish Farms is focused on investing in strategic growth opportunities that are a good fit for our existing business and expand our product offering to valued customers," said Robert Irving, Cavendish president. "This acquisition greatly enhances our presence in the foodservice and retail sector in Canada and adds to our presence in the U.S. market as well."

Irving said Cavendish will integrate the Wheatley plant into Cavendish Farms' operations network and run the plant as part of a new Appetizer Division.

For its part, Omstead Foods, Wheatley, will concentrate on frozen fruit and vegetable businesses.

"We will now focus our efforts on the continued development of our national fruit business," noted Bill Stafford, company president. "The frozen fruit category is experiencing tremendous growth in both retail and foodservice channels and -- as a national leader in the category -- Omstead is well positioned to benefit."