Acirca, Inc. yesterday announced it has acquired Mountain Sun, the number one brand of certified organic juice in the United States. As the leader in this rapidly growing segment, Mountain Sun’s products are an ideal complement to Acirca’s current portfolio of Walnut Acres certified organic soups, salsas and sauces. The acquisition allows Acirca to enter the $4 billion shelf stable juice category and one of the highest growth segments of the $8 billion organic food and beverage category of North America.

Mountain Sun is the leading certified organic juice brand in the nation because of its dedication to making the best-tasting, highest-quality certified organic juices from real fruit. Unlike most commercial fruit juice beverages, Mountain Sun does not contain any corn syrups, preservatives or artificial flavors or colorings.

Commenting on the acquisition, Acirca CEO Mark S. Rodriguez said, “We are pleased to welcome Mountain Sun into the Acirca portfolio because together we share a mission to make certified organic packaged foods and beverages more widely available to the rapidly expanding based of health conscious organic consumers. Additionally, through increased scale gained with the integration of the Mountain Sun business we aspire to become a more valuable trading partner with our retail customers.”

Mountain Sun founder and President Bill Russell, who will remain a consultant to the company, said, “Joining forces with Acirca offers Mountain Sun a wide range of experience in building brands in conventional distribution channels. We also gain resources to expand the distribution of our certified organic juices faster in an increasingly competitive environment.”

The company will align activities that result in increased levels of customer service and help Acirca differentiate itself as a value-added supplier with its major customers. The company aspires to provide reliable, efficient service across an expanding range of certified organic products.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. This announcement follows the acquisition on June 11, 2001 of Frutti Di Bosco and Millina’s Finest pasta sauces, the second largest certified organic pasta sauce business in the United States.

About Acirca and Mountain Sun

Acirca, Inc. was formed to develop premier certified organic food and beverage brands. The name Acirca is inspired by the phrase “a circle of life” and reflects the company’s commitment to the development of products that contribute to better health and are good for the environment. Acirca is a privately held company owned collectively by company employees and independent investors. Acirca is bringing new consumers of organic products convenience in packaged certified organic foods wherever they shop.

The company produces Walnut Acres certified organic soups and salsas and Millina’s Finest and Frutti Di Bosco certified organic pasta sauces. The chef-inspired recipes of all Walnut Acres, Millina’s Finest and Frutti Di Bosco products are made only with the freshest ingredients available and never contain artificial additives or preservatives.

Mountain Sun was formed to produce the world’s best-tasting, highest-quality certified organic juices. Mountain Sun products are real juice from real fruit — that’s the Mountain Sun difference. The company was founded in 1970 and its production facilities are nestled in the pristine San Juan Mountain range in Dolores, Colorado.

The employees of Acirca join their fellow Americans in mourning the tragedies of September 11. Working with America’s Second Harvest Acirca has made a donation of approximately 200,000 jars of its Walnut Acres ready-to-eat organic soups, which are being distributed throughout the New York metropolitan area to relief workers and hungry New Yorkers.