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Coca-Cola purchases bottling unit

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA Coca-Cola announced Friday the expansion of its business through the acquisition of one of its bottlers’ North American business.

The soft drink giant confirmed the $13 billion acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprises’ entire North American business, which consists of approximately 75% of U.S. bottler-delivered volume and almost 100% of Canadian bottler-delivered volume, Coca-Cola said. In line woth this deal, Coca-Cola agreed to give up its 34% stake in CCE.

In a similar agreement, Coca-Cola and CCE have agreed in principle that CCE will buy Coca-Cola’s bottling operations in Norway and Sweden for $822 million, subject to the signing of definitive agreements, and that CCE will have the right to acquire Coca-Cola’s 83% equity stake in its German bottling operations 18 to 36 months after closing for fair value.

“We have a strong and unrelenting belief in our unique and thriving global bottling system,” Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola CEO. “Our new North American structure will create an unparalleled combination of businesses, which will serve as our passport to winning in the world’s largest nonalcoholic ready-to-drink profit pool.”

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Hellman’s uses cage-free eggs in its light mayonnaise

BY Allison Cerra

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Mayonnaise brand Hellman’s announced its new light mayonnaise recipe will feature 100% certified cage-free eggs in the United States.

“Hellmann’s is made from real, simple ingredients — vinegar, oils rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6, and eggs,” said Jamey Fish, Hellmann’s senior brand manager. “Hellmann’s understands that people are increasingly attuned to what’s in their food and where it comes from and that’s why Hellmann’s Light is now moving to 100% cage-free eggs, keeping with the brand’s commitment to ‘real food’ using simple ingredients.”

Eggs used in Hellmann’s Light mayonnaise (and other recipes) will be certified through a program administered by the American Humane Association, the leading certifier of cage-free eggs.

Hellmann’s said it will eventually change all of its “real food” mayonnaise recipes to cage-free eggs once a certifiable and consistent supply becomes available in North America.

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Chocolate Peeps make their candy aisle debut

BY Allison Cerra

BETHLEHEM, Pa. Just Born has introduced a new generation of Peeps just in time for spring.

The iconic marshmallow chicks now are available in milk chocolate, conveniently-sized, 1.0-oz. single-serve packages.

“We are really excited about this new offering. We chose the chick shape because it is a popular Easter icon that everyone loves. We wanted to appeal to all taste buds, so we are offering this item in both milk and dark chocolate. These Peeps will please loyal fans and entice newcomers, perhaps becoming our biggest hit ever,” said brand manager Chris Schneeweiss.

In related news, Just Born welcomes has added orange marshmallow bunnies into the growing Peeps family. Peeps chicks and bunnies are available in all of the season’s favorite colors: yellow, pink, blue, lavender, green and orange.

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