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Niagara Distributing Sells Delivery Routes to Nestlé

Niagara Distributing LLC in Irvine has sold its home and office delivery routes to Glendale-based competitor Nestlé USA.

The company was owned by the Peykoff family, which also owns Niagara Bottling LLC in Ontario. Its bottling operations are believed to be the second largest in the U.S., behind Nestlé, with some 2,000 employees working at 18 plants across the country.

The deal to sell the delivery routes to Nestlé essentially ends Niagara’s operations at its 21,306-square-foot property at 17842 Cowan, which served as an office and distribution center.

Niagara Distributing specialized in home and office delivery of three- and five-gallon bottles of water throughout Southern California.

The Orange County operations were started by Andrew Peykoff Sr., an immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1961 from what was then part of Yugoslavia and is now called Macedonia.

The company expanded into offering single-serve private label bottled water for grocery, club store, and wholesale customers in the early 1990s and moved its headquarters to Ontario. Andrew Peykoff II, the founder’s son, took over as chief executive in 2003.

Each of Niagara’s bottling plants has technology to manufacture its own packaging.

“We were (the) first in the country to be vertically integrated in the water bottling industry,” Kent Ratzlaf, the company’s chief financial officer said in an earlier interview. “Everything is done in-house. … We do our own injection molding, not only the bottle but the caps, as well.”

Nestlé and Niagara confirmed the sale.

It appears that some of Niagara’s customers learned about the change when Nestlé-owned Arrowhead bottles started appearing at their front door last month.

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