FreshWorld, the joint venture between DNA Plant TechnologyCorp. (DNAP) and DuPont, has expanded the geographicdistribution of its premium vegetable products as well asadded more products to its list, the Cinnaminson, N.J., firmannounced Tuesday.

As it stands, the FreshWorld agreement encompasses VegiSnaxcarrots, celery and peppers (packaged as "snacks") andVegiSweet peppers (packaged in bulk), with distribution on aregional or selected basisHincluding to McDonald's, 7-Elevenconvenience stores and Safeway supermarkets and on UnitedAirlines flights to certain cities.

FreshWorld now intends to expand the distribution of itsVegiSweet carrots in one-pound bags to supermarkets in thePacific Northwest, Colorado, Utah and Pennsylvania. As well,the Pacific Northwest supermarkets will be getting VegiSnaxmini-peppers, the first harvested by partner Meyer Tomatoes.In fact, Meyer is increasing its production acreage in Mexico tomeet strong demand for the mini-peppers, DNAP said.

Also, the expansion will widen the McDonald's test market andplace VegiSnax carrots on Amtrak trains nationwide and inContinental Airlines' snacks on all domestic routes.

"We expect that these significant distribution and marketingadvances at FreshWorld will lead to accelerated revenuegrowth in 1993," said Robert Serenbetz, DNAP's president andchief executive officer. Although DNAP doesn't break outrevenues for each of its joint ventures [the other,InterMountain Canola, is also with DuPont], it did reportcombined joint venture revenues in the first nine months of1992 of $2,010,000, compared to $1,138,000 for the sameperiod in 1991, according to company sources.

Merrill Lynch analysts Maureen McGann and Stuart Weisbrodexpect this expansion effort to lower the loss in the jointventures during 1993 from their previous estimates of $7.5million to $6 million. They reiterated their aboveaverage/above average rating (intermediate term/long term)on DNAP Tuesday, and recommended "accumulation of sharesby risk-tolerant investors."

DNAP (NASDAQ:DNAP) shares closed at $5.63 on Wednesday,up 12.5 cents a share.

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.