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Weight Watchers, Wells' Dairy Sign Exclusive Licensing Agreement

LE MARS, Iowa - Weight Watchers International, Inc. and Wells' Dairy, the country's largest family-owned and managed dairy processor and a leading manufacturer of dairy products and frozen novelties, have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement starting Oct. 1. Under the agreement Wells' Dairy will be the exclusive marketer, producer, and distributor of an extensive line of frozen novelties and ice cream under the Weight Watchers brand.

"This is a unique opportunity for Wells' Dairy, bringing together two organizations that have proven success in the development of better-for-you products, " said Gary Wells, chief executive of Wells' Dairy, Inc. "Wells' Dairy is known for making quality ice cream products nationwide, and we believe this expertise will help build upon the success of ice cream and frozen novelties offered under the Weight Watchers brand."

Steve Marlowe, g.m. of licensing for Weight Watchers, said, "Wells' Dairy is a terrific partner to help continue to build the Weight Watchers extensive line of frozen novelties and ice cream. Weight-conscious consumers continue to demand healthy and good-tasting frozen treats. We believe the trusted Weight Watchers brand in combination with Wells' high-quality products will garner a high level of consumer appeal and satisfaction."

To begin with, Wells Dairy will roll out 12 SKUs of frozen novelty items, representing over 85 percent of current Weight Watchers frozen sales, Weight Watchers spokeswoman Barbara Campbell told Progressive Grocer. The initial products will include sundae cups, fudge cones, and ice cream sandwiches, she added.

Wells spokesman Dave Smetter told Progressive Grocer that his company would be prepared to ship product by the Oct. 1 effective date of the agreement. "Wells has everything in place to ensure a smooth transition, to avoid any interruption to customers," Smetter said, adding that "the research and development folks [at Wells] continue to look at innovative products under the Weight Watchers brand and to expand the portfolio when warranted."
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