Refrigerated guacamole processorCalavo Growers, Inc. , Santa Paula, Calif.,  said it purchasedLisa’s Salsa Company, St. Paul, Minn.

Said Calavo Chairman, President and CEO Lee E. Cole, “We are very pleased to launch Calavo Salsa Lisa with the goal of leveraging our nationwide infrastructure and distribution channels to build a powerful market position in refrigerated salsa, which is a substantial and growing category.”

Under the terms of the transaction, Calavo’s expansion into the growing fresh refrigerated salsa category comes through a 65 percent ownership interest in Calavo Salsa Lisa, which acquired the assets of closely held Lisa’s Salsa Company. Calavo’s ownership position comes with an option to acquire the remaining 35 percent exercisable at any time during the next eighty-one months. The new entity will be integrated into Calavo’s corporate structure.

Lisa’s Salsa Company founder Lisa Nicholson joins Calavo Salsa Lisa with responsibilities that include manufacturing operations, product development, and brand and marketing efforts.

Officials say the company will continue to market the Salsa Lisa product line through the upper Midwest. In addition, Calavo will develop and market a Calavo Salsa Lisa brand, starting in April. Merchandised in grocers’ produce sections, this new all-natural salsa line will feature a range of specialty flavors and varieties. It also will promote fresh ingredients including fresh tomatoes, a long 98-day shelf life and the personal touch of a homemade recipe.

“This new line of delicious salsas will be a natural complement to our market leadership in ultra-high-pressure guacamole, which is a simply best-in-category product, as well as our recently introduced Calavo tortilla chips," said Cole. "Being able to market and ship high-end, great tasting guacamole, refrigerated salsa and tortilla chips together is a win-win-win for consumers, our customers and Calavo’s profit-margins.

"We intend to continue to leverage our refrigerated distribution channel by expanding our processed products business on a selective basis, just as we have done with our fresh products where we have added such high quality offerings as tomatoes, papayas, pineapples and mushrooms under the Calavo brand.”

Calavo Salsa Lisa will be produced in St. Paul at the former Lisa’s Salsa Company’s 8,000 square foot facility, which Calavo Salsa Lisa will expand to 10,500 square feet. Officials said they believe the facility has ample unused capacity to support the planned national rollout.