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Gold Kist Gets Panda Deal

It will supply orange chicken.

Gold Kist (GKIS) scored a key supply deal with the Chinese food chain Panda Express.

Gold Kist, an Atlanta-based chicken processor, said it will supply chicken for Panda's most popular entree, Orange Chicken. In addition, Gold Kist will be supplying fully cooked Mandarin Chicken and other chicken products to Panda Express in 2007.

Gold Kist and Panda Express celebrated this milestone with an employee appreciation event at the Gold Kist Boaz, Ala., processing plant that produces this original chicken product.

The companies said more than 800 plant employees were greeted in their break room by the Panda Express Panda Bear mascot and the Gold Kist Chris P. Chicken character and treated to the Panda Express meal experience -- Orange Chicken, egg rolls, rice and fortune cookies.

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"It is part of Gold Kist's strategic plan to develop long-term business partnerships with category leading, growing companies, like Panda Express, that have strong corporate values similar to our own," said John Bekkers, Gold Kist's CEO. "We are very proud to be a key supplier of Panda Express Orange Chicken, and we are working hard to ensure that the product meets the expectations of Panda Express every day."

Gold Kist fell 4 cents to $18.38.