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Global retail sales surpass $10 billion for PepsiCo’s potato chip brands

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo’s potato chip portfolio has hit a major milestone.

The company said the "Banner Sun" portfolio, which is anchored by Lay’s — the world’s largest food brand and the No. 1 potato chip brand globally — and also includes Walkers, Smith’s and Sabritas brands, has grown more than $10 billion, thanks to "great-tasting products, innovative marketing, local agriculture and a powerful go-to-market system" and the expansion into international markets, the company said. The top 10 markets for the company include the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Spain, Australia, China, Mexico, Netherlands and India.

"PepsiCo continues to focus on growing its largest food and beverage brands, and this milestone is another example of how our efforts are paying off," PepsiCo chief marketing officer Salman Amin said. "Whether it’s Lay’s, Walkers, Smith’s or Sabritas, PepsiCo has built some of the world’s strongest brands that are loved by consumers around the globe. And it’s because of PepsiCo employees throughout the world that we are able to achieve this impressive milestone — from the growers in our fields to our frontline workforce that makes, sells and delivers our products each and every day."

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ConAgra introduces Ultragrain flour line

BY Allison Cerra

OMAHA, Neb. — ConAgra Mills has introduced a new line of all-natural white whole wheat flour.

Ultragrain is naturally milder and sweeter in flavor, and delivers a softer, smoother texture and speck-free appearance, the company said. The line is available in two varieties: all-purpose flour — which touts 30% Ultragrain whole wheat flour, giving it 9 g of whole grain per serving — and white whole wheat flour, which has 100% whole grain nutrition with the taste, texture and appearance of refined flour and offers 30 g of whole grain per serving.

The flours are available in 2-, 5-, and 10-lb. bags.

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Pepsi Next gets official launch date

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Pepsi Next officially is coming to the market, PepsiCo announced this week.

Pepsi Next, the company said, is crafted to taste like regular cola but touts 60% less sugar. The company tested out the product, which hits store shelves March 26, in Iowa and Wisconsin.

"As part of our continued commitment to innovate our carbonated soft drinks portfolio, we developed Pepsi Next, a great-tasting, full-flavor cola with 60% less sugar," PepsiCo Beverages America CEO Massimo d’Amore said of the new beverage this past summer. "In thorough consumer research, Pepsi Next resonated very well with consumers who are seeking a new, reduced-sugar alternative to their loved cola."

The product launch is being supported by a Walmart sampling program, in-market sampling across cities nationwide, a 30-second television advertising spot, a Facebook page and Facebook digital application, "Improv You" Internet Taste Test, multi-city public relations events, as well as targeted and relevant Hispanic advertising and grassroots marketing.

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