The U. S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona, approved a license agreement between Boston Chicken, Inc. (Golden, CO) and H. J. Heinz Company (Pittsburgh). Under the terms of the agreement, Boston Chicken will license its Boston Market trademarks to Heinz for the worldwide manufacture and sale, under the Boston Market brand, of packaged food products to the retail trade. Boston Chicken filed its voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 5, 1998.
As part of the agreement, Heinz will pay Boston Chicken an undisclosed royalty fee based on sales. The agreement is separate and independent of Boston Chicken's restaurant business.
"The Court's approval of this agreement is an important milestone for our company," said Michael Jenkins, chairman, president, and CEO of Boston Chicken. "We believe the revenue potential and national exposure provided by Heinz's placement of Boston Market branded products in grocery stores will have a positive impact on the long-term value of our brand."
Consumer research conducted by Heinz showed the Boston Market brand has broad consumer appeal, and that retail shoppers would welcome the convenience of Boston Market's homestyle foods. The concept is expected to be tested in retail stores later this year. Specific products and locations for the test were not disclosed.
Boston Chicken, Inc. operates and franchises restaurants under the Boston Market brand name that specialize in fresh, convenient meals. With sales approaching $10 billion, H. J. Heinz company is one of the world's leading food processors.