Paula Deen Foods to Launch

Paula Deen, celebrity chef and founder of Paula Deen Enterprises, has just joined the Nanco Group to launch Paula Deen Foods. The famous Georgian who has created a name for herself with her celebrated southern dishes is officially launching Paula Deen Foods at retail. The cross-category line will include proteins and shelf-stable baking items, among other offerings.

“We are honored to take the Nanco generations of experience and bring our favorite recipes from our family to your own,” said Deen. “Working with Nanco, we have generations of experience and knowledge from our most important partners -- the grocery retailers that will enable us to bring the best value possible to those who love our recipes.”

The Emmy Award-winning chef has established herself as a lucrative brand with her famous restaurants, 14 cookbooks that have sold more than 8 million copies, and TV shows. Deen’s landmark restaurant, The Lady & Sons, based in Savannah, Ga., has been expanding its empire and partnership with Caesars Entertainment, and she recently launched her fourth eatery, Paula Deen’s Kitchen, at Harrah’s Joliet property. Deen will now develop these new products with Buffalo, N.Y.-based Nanco, which has extensive experience developing private label products.

“We are joining forces with Paula Deen, one of the industry’s most successful brands, to raise things to new levels,” noted Nanco principal Steven Nanula, who previously led innovation and concept development at Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops Markets LLC. “The passion to bring her joy of cooking to those around the world is magical.”

Deen’s family is also connected to her work: Her son Bobby has a hit show, “Not My Mama’s Meals,” on the Cooking Channel, and next month her son Jamie will launch his show, “Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen,” on Food Network.

Paula Deen Foods is expected to launch late this year, in time for the holidays.

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