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Honest Tea says Coca-Cola can help boost its expansion, message

BY Jenna Duncan

BETHESDA, Md. Honest Tea announced that it is following the leadership of Coca-Cola to boost business, and its social mission of promoting conservation and eco-friendly consumerism. Honest Tea has been known for operating out of a “green” building and for promoting an agenda of natural health and environmental responsibility.

Coca-Cola last month announced that it has acquired 40 percent of the small, eco-friendly beverage company and invested $43 million into its operations. Spokespersons said that Honest Tea stands to benefit from Coca Cola’s distribution and manufacturing knowledge.

Some skeptics warned that great changes may loom ahead for the Honest Tea company. Experts have said that smaller companies often find that they must change their mission statements and risk losing their identity during mergers.

Seth Goldman, Honest Tea co-founder and chief executive officer, said he understands concerns about corporate partnering with an industry giant like Coca-Cola.

“I’ve gotten the e-mails. And I know there is risk attached here,” he said. He added that he believes Honest Tea can use the expanded distribution and sales volume opportunities from partnering with Coca-Cola to launch awareness about health and promote sustainable agriculture.

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Tropicana launches lemonade, helps Habitat for Humanity

BY Jenna Duncan

PALMETTO, Fla. Tropicana officials announced the launch of a 100 percent natural lemonade, Coastal Groves, Monday. The launch was tied in with the dedication ceremony of a recently constructed Habitat for Humanity home, build by Tropicana employees, and painted yellow for the occasion.

Dozens of Tropicana employees who helped build the home were present at the ceremony. In all, about 300 Tropicana employees put in time and labor into its construction.

Tropicana announced in January it will donate $1 million to Habitat for Humanity International during a three-year project to build houses along the Gulf Coast. Officials said construction of another seven homes is planned in that time.

Coastal Groves lemonade will be produced from lemons grown in California and transported to Bradenton, Fla., for processing. The juice will be available in three flavors; original lemonade, peach lemonade and raspberry lemonade.

Coastal Groves lemonade is already available in Manatee County and will debut nationwide during May, Tropicana’s manager of public relations, Karen May, said. Coastal Grove lemonade 12-oz. bottles retail for $1.79 and 64-oz. cartons for $2.99.

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Cadbury-Schweppes to end use of artificial colors

BY Jenna Duncan

LONDON Cadbury Schweppes said it will remove all artificial colors from its candies by the end of 2008 because of health concerns over the possible effects on child behavior related to artificially colored sweets.

“Cadbury can confirm that we have listened to consumers and are committed to replacing all artificial colors in our sweets by the end of this year,” Tony Bilsborough, Cadbury spokesperson, said.

Additives like artificial colors have garnered much public criticism lately, particularly following the publication of a Southampton Study last year that linked certain artificial colors to hyperactivity in children.

The UK Food Standards Agency last week urged voluntary removal of the additives and asked the European Food Safety Authority to eventually ban the colorings. Some European candy makers, such as Nestle Rowntree, have already omitted artificial colors.

Six colors have been named by the Southampton study linked to hyperactivity; they are were allura red (E129), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124), quinoline yellow (E104), sunset yellow (E110) and tartrazine (E102).

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