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Del Monte Foods sells canned foods business for $1.7 billion

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO — Del Monte Foods will sell its consumer products business to Del Monte Pacific Limited for $1.675 billion in order to focus on the pet products market, Del Monte Foods said.

Del Monte Pacific Limited, or DMPL, owns the Del Monte brand in the Philippines and is the exclusive licensee on the Indian subcontinent for processed products. The company, which is publicly traded in Singapore and the Philippines, also owns the S&W brand outside the Americas for both processed food products and fresh produce and is a long-term supplier of processed pineapple for Del Monte Foods.

Del Monte Foods said that given the distinct operations and markets of Del Monte Foods’ two segments — pet products and consumer products — the sale of the consumer products segment will ensure that both are positioned for growth. Upon closing of the deal, Del Monte Foods will change its name to reflect its focus on the $20 billion pet products market, emphasizing pet snacks and pet specialty products. Del Monte’s pet products include such pet food brands as Meow Mix, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Milk-Bone, 9Lives and others.

"Over the last two years, we have made significant investments — operationally, strategically and organizationally — to build the consumer products and pet products segment into businesses capable of capturing the significant opportunity available to each," Del Monte Foods CEO Dave West said. "We believe DMPL is the right company to build on the consumer products segment’s recent success and achieve its next phase of growth, and we look forward to focusing on expanding our pet products business, which operates in one of the most attractive categories across the U.S. consumer packaged goods industry."

 

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Sprite launches new flavor to ‘berry’ up holidays

BY Sierra McCleary-Harris

ATLANTA — In its first flavor innovation since 2005, Sprite is launching all-new flavor Sprite Cranberry and Sprite Cranberry Zero.

The new products will be available for a limited time through the holidays. Both products take the taste of traditional Sprite and combine it with a splash of sweet and tart cranberry notes.

The new flavor will appear on store shelves nationwide for a limited time only, arriving in mid-October and available through the New Year. Sprite Cranberry and Sprite Zero Cranberry will be available in 2-liter bottles, fridge packs (12-oz. cans) and 20-oz. bottles (Sprite Cranberry only), and will be sold in mass market, convenience and drug stores nationwide.

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Anheuser-Busch announces return of Budweiser’s Project 12

BY Rebecca Haughey

ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch on Tuesday announced the return of Budweiser’s Project 12 — the brewmaster platform that introduced Budweiser Black Crown — with three new beers, beginning Oct. 28.

For Project 12, Budweiser’s team of brewmasters develop new beer recipes featuring the signature yeast first used by Adolphus Busch in 1876. The three small-batch Budweisers named for the ZIP code where the beer is brewed include:

  • Batch 94534 (Fairfield, Calif.): Brewed with a unique blend of North Pacific hop varieties, including Cascade and Palisade, this bold, hoppy lager is 5.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) and offers a distinct taste of the American Northwest;
  • Batch 23185 (Williamsburg, Va.): Aged on a bed of bourbon barrel staves and vanilla beans, this light amber lager indulges the sweet side and features a 5.5% ABV; and
  • Batch 43229 (Columbus, Ohio): Brewed with chocolate and caramel malts for a rich auburn appearance and finished on Beechwood chips for a crisp, clean taste, this deep amber lager is 6% ABV.

On Labor Day weekend, Budweiser hosted a sampling event at the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival, giving adult concert-goers an exclusive chance to taste and provide feedback on the beers featured in the soon-to-be-released sampler pack.

“The initial response from beer drinkers has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Pete Kraemer, head brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch. “Each of the three beers has a distinct taste with a common thread. ‘Project 12’ is all about showcasing brewing creativity and credentials, and making beer drinkers happy. We are confident we’ve achieved that with the 2013 edition.”

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