Life is Wonderful over at Stewart and Lynda Resnick's eclectic empire, Roll. Its holdings include POM Wonderful, the hip and trendy pomegranate juice with its distinctive bulbous bottle, as well as upscale water bottler FIJI Water. A bit more mundane but no less important to its bottom line are the company's other holdings. Teleflora is the largest flower-delivery service in the world. Paramount Farms has become one of the world's largest growers and suppliers of almonds and pistachios. And Paramount Citrus is a top US producer of fresh lemons and oranges. Roll also owns deep-sea cargo shipper Neptune Pacific Line, along with Suterra, a maker of environmentally friendly pest-control products.
The company's Paramount Farms unit harvests more than 70,000 acres of pistachio and almond trees annually, selling products under the Wonderful, Almond Accents, and Everybody's Nuts brands. Paramount Farms also offers private-label nut products. Paramount Citrus, the company behind Cuties-brand mandarin oranges, boasts more than 30,000 acres of navel and Valencia orange, lemon, Minneola, and Clementine mandarin orange trees. Its Delano, California, citrus processing plant is one of North America's largest orange and lemon packing operations. Also on Roll's roster is FIJI Water, which the company acquired in 2004. FIJI's premium water is sourced from an artesian aquifer on the island of Fiji and distributed internationally. Roll purchased Justin Vineyard & Winery, based in Paso Robles, California, in 2010 to supplement its FIJI Water business. The water operation shares its global sales force with the wine business as it taps Justin's wine-making expertise. The move, which comes as Roll has been faced with increased taxes from the military-led government in Fiji, signals that it is looking to diversify its FIJI Water subsidiary. Neptune Pacific Line runs a fleet of five deep-sea tankers and container vessels that ship agricultural grains and liquid commodities between the Fiji Islands, Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, South Africa, and North America. Suterra makes pheromone traps and lures under the CheckMate, BioLue, Scenturion, and AgriSense brands. The products are used by fruit farmers to control vineyard pests in a non-chemical, non-toxic way, with the pheromones in the products interrupting insect mating cycles.
Roll continues to reach beyond its stable of businesses and brands to new niches. In 2008 Mr. Resnick and Los Angeles businessman and entrepreneur Selim Zilkha formed a 50-50 joint venture (Jatropha Farm) with Global Clean Energy Holdings to commercialize a renewable, alternate energy source. A goal of the venture is to acquire and develop raw land in the state of Yucatán in Mexico to grow jatropha (Jatropha curcas) trees. The fruit and seeds of the trees, which are not edible and are not grown as a food crop, can be made into oil for use as biomass, biodiesel, or feedstock. Jatropha hopes to eventually market the product.
Mergers and Acquisitions
To create a firm foundation for its citrus business, Roll in mid-2012 acquired Healds Valley Farms, which is responsible for 50% of the citrus market in its home state of Texas. The move allows Roll's Paramount Citrus to boost its capacity to more than 15 million cartons of fresh citrus shipped annually to markets across North America. In 2011 Roll's Teleflora business entered the Australian and New Zealand markets through its purchase of Petals Network and its network of 1,300 florists.
Sales and Marketing
The company's pomegranate juice is advertised as a source of antioxidants, and its ad campaigns play upon the fruit's supposed age-defying attributes, with slogans like "The pomegranate is 5,000 years old. Drink it and you will be, too." However, the validity of the company's health claims for its pomegranate juice have been called into question in recent years.