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Nestle Waters North America to acquire Sweet Leaf Tea Co.

BY Allison Cerra

STAMFORD, Conn. — Nestle Waters North America has inked a deal to acquire the maker of Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds beverage brands.

Nestle Waters said its acquisition of Austin, Texas-based Sweet Leaf Tea Co. — which was founded in 1998 — is subject to applicable regulatory approval and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. The deal will expand the company’s beverage portfolio of bottled water to include high-quality iced teas, lemonades and juice drinks.

The company also added that Sweet Leaf’s staff will continue managing the Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds brands, which boasted combined total sales of more than $53 million in 2010, for further growth.

Nestle Waters made an initial investment in Sweet Leaf in March 2009.

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Steaz introduces zero-calorie iced teas

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — A maker of organic green tea-based beverages and energy drinks is debuting its zero-calorie iced teas.

Steaz’s zero-calorie Iced Teaz are naturally sweetened with zero-calorie sweetener Truvia. Steaz’s current zero-calorie offerings include sparkling green tea and energy drinks. Iced Teaz are available in citrus, half/half, peach mango and raspberry flavors.

Steaz’s zero-calorie iced teas, now available in specialty and retail stores nationwide, carry a suggested retail price range of $1.29 to $1.49 per 16-oz. can.

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Sabra expands offerings

BY Allison Cerra

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Hummus brand Sabra is looking to boost its portfolio by introducing new snacks.

Sabra said it will be introducing a salsa line, which will include classic, southwestern style, home-style and chunky pico de gallo flavors; Greek yogurt veggie dips in roasted garlic, spinach and artichoke, sun dried tomato, and onion and fresh herbs varieties; and guacamole and new hummus flavors, including basil pesto and buffalo style blends.

The array of new products will be rolled out nationwide in the coming months.

"Consumers are broadening their food horizons and seeking a variety of fresh, healthy and authentic foods and snacks," Sabra chief marketing officer Ken Kunze said. "Sabra has been on trend with hummus and is now expanding into more vegetable-based snacks. What Sabra brings to the table is a fresh approach to some authentic favorites by tapping into the flavors of the world while delivering the same quality and superior taste that has become synonymous with the Sabra name. We are thrilled to give consumers an opportunity to discover new experiences of the world right at their table."

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