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New nut flavors hit store shelves

BY Allison Cerra

DURANGO, Colo. Ricky’s Lucky Nuts has launched glazed peanuts in four unique flavors.

Created by restaurateur Paul Gelose, Rickey’s Lucky Nuts contain no-oil-added roasting process, all-natural ingredients and unique flavor profiles have created something totally new in the snack aisle.

“More and more people are looking for snacks that are interesting and different. The expectation of quality is being met by several products but our snack peanut goes above quality to give the snacker an exceptional flavor experience,” Gelose said. 

In addition to its Original Style Peanut, the line has expanded include three more international flavors:

  • Bombay Curry Coconut
  • Spicy Chile Chipotle
  • Black Pepper & Salt

Ricky’s Lucky Nuts are available at select Whole Foods, H-E-B, City Markets, Tony’s Markets and Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacies.

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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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Diamond Foods to acquire Kettle Foods

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO Diamond Foods has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Kettle Foods, makers of premium potato chips, from Lion Capital LLP for $615 million in cash.

Diamond will acquire Kettle operations in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

As part of the agreement, Diamond will purchase all outstanding shares of the snack maker. Kettle Foods would add more than $250 million in revenues and almost double Diamond’s EBITDA, Diamond projected.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of Diamond’s fiscal year 2010, subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approval.

“Kettle Foods’ passion for making great tasting, natural potato chips has attracted a loyal consumer following and shaped a truly premium brand that has our deep respect,” said Michael Mendes, chairman, president and CEO of Diamond Foods. “Diamond and Kettle Foods share a history of relentless focus on flavor and product quality and working collaboratively with our retail partners. By adding Kettle, including its talented team of employees, our snack business will have greater scale, which will help us to drive even greater innovation in the snack market. We expect that the acquisition will be accretive in the first year and is a strong, strategic fit to better support our long-term growth plans.”

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