Contract frozen foods processorOverhill Farms, Inc., Los Angeles, said it will become the exclusive licensee to produce retail frozen Boston Market items, which are sold nationwide in most major grocery chains. Starting next July, terms provide for Overhill Farms to process, distribute and market all Boston Market frozen meals, gravies and other products.

Boston Market Corporation, Golden, Colo., operates more than 490 restaurant locations nationwide.

"We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Boston Market, one of the leading brands in the grocery channel," said James Rudis, Overhill chairman and CEO. " ... We have the opportunity to take a premier brand with a proven track record of sales, and grow that brand with product innovations and strategic pricing."

Added Boston Market CEO George Michel, "The Boston Market brand has been a consistently strong performer in the retail channel over the past 10 years. Our long-term agreement with Overhill Farms will allow us to continue to offer consumers the quality, flavor, convenience and value they associate with the Boston Market brand, and gives us the opportunity to expand and enhance our product offerings. We are particularly impressed with Overhill Farms' breadth of experience in the frozen category, and the strength of their culinary abilities."

The two companies said they signed a five-year term with options for two additional five-year renewals and is effective July 1, 2011. Until that time, Boston Market products will continue to be produced by the current licensee.

Even so, Overhill Farms will immediately begin working with Boston Market, said Rudis, and will work with retailers on pricing, marketing and promotion plans to maximize sales.

"In addition to the opportunities this agreement creates, we think it also positions Overhill Farms to seek additional non-competing brand licenses," Mr. Rudis said.