Coca-Cola to stop distributing Arizona tea

ATLANTA Coca-Cola Enterprises has announced its plans to end its distribution of Arizona tea in much of the United States starting early May. CCE said it will shift its focus to Glaceau enhanced waters, acquired by Coca-Cola last year.

CCE announced in late 2006 that it would distribute three varieties of 34-ounce size Arizona tea. This announcement created some tension at Coca-Cola because Arizona teas, made by Hornell Brewing Co. of New York, are competitors to Coca-Cola’s bottled teas, Nestea and Gold Peak.

In keeping with a three-year agreement that CCE recently signed with Coca-Cola to only carry Coca-Cola beverages, CCE announced it will stop distributing Arizona in most U.S. markets. CCE will also now distribute Glaceau.

John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest said, “Coke was never happy about CCE carrying Arizona. But CCE was very happy to get Glaceau, and I think this was part of the deal.”

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