Refrigerated and frozen soups and dips processorBlount Fine Foods, Fall River, Mass., said it purchased Neco Foods LLC, a refrigerated processor in Lantana, Fla. Terms were not disclosed.

Neco Foods is a nationally distributed processor of  fresh soups, dips, spreads, butters, sauces and other products. Officials said the gives Blount production facilities in the southeastern United States, which ensures fresh products get to market faster in that part of the country.

“The more we worked through our due diligence on Neco Foods, the more we realized we were acquiring a company with a commitment to quality across R&D, production, and customer collaboration,” said Todd Blount, president of Blount Fine Foods. “We are bringing on a great team that is working toward a vision already aligned with Blount Fine Foods, so we are very pleased with this acquisition.”

Todd Blount said he expects all of the Neco team will remain with the company and plans no immediate changes to products, quality and customer service -- except where Blount’s scale and efficiencies can be a benefit. Blount said it does plan to change the name of the company slightly to Neco Fine Foods, which will operate as a division of Blount Fine Foods.

“We have added production and distribution in an important part of the country with this acquisition,” added Blount. “We look forward to investing into Neco’s infrastructure and to growing their customer’s business.”

“We have been acquired by Blount, but in many ways it feels like a merger,” said John McGeough, Jr., Neco’s head of sales. “Todd and his team want us to keep doing what we do best, which is making great products for customers whom we always treat like partners.”

A family owned company since 1946, Blount Fine Foods has become the nation's largest manufacturer of lobster bisque, officials say. It produces more than 350 proprietary soup recipes, including 75 varieties of clam chowder alone. Its product lines include fresh and frozen gourmet soups for food-service and retail as well as premium dips and gourmet salads, such as lobster salad and chicken salad. Blount’s gourmet soups and specialty foods are made with the finest and freshest ingredients, handcrafted by a dedicated team through unparalleled customer collaboration.

Blount operates production facilities at its Fall River, Mass., headquarters and in Warren, R.I.. Customers include national restaurant chains and supermarket deli departments. Blount also carries a full line of fresh and frozen soups sold to Club Stores and Retailers nationwide under the Legal Sea Foods and Panera Bread brands.