CENTER STORE

Pepsi Bottling Group to acquire Texas bottler

BY Allison Cerra

SOMERS, N.Y. The Pepsi Bottling Group announced Monday that it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Ab-Tex Beverage Ltd., the fifth in a series of recent acquisitions to expand PBG’s U.S. territory and enhance its ability to meet customer needs.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

With nearly 450 employees, Ab-Tex bottles, packages and distributes several leading beverage brands, including Pepsi-Cola, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew, 7UP, and Sunkist. Headquartered in Abilene, Tex., Ab-Tex operates in 125 counties across central Texas and has been owned and operated by the Massey family for more than 70 years.

“PBG has a great track record of creating shareholder value through acquisitions of well-run independent bottlers, as they provide access to regional growth markets and enhance both the efficiency and effectiveness of our go-to-market system. As the pace of bottler consolidation in the U.S. accelerates, we will continue to capitalize on opportunities to expand our business,” said PBG chirman and CEO Eric Foss.

Ab-Tex will be the newest addition to a portfolio of independent regional bottlers that PBG has acquired since the beginning of 2008. Together, these bottlers generate more than $300 million in annual revenue. Previous transactions include:

  • A letter of intent to acquire Massachusetts-based Pepsi-Cola Bottlers for the Merrimack Valley, Inc., which PBG announced last month;
  • The acquisition of Better Beverages, Ltd., a Pepsi-Cola and Dr Pepper franchised bottler that serves portions of central Texas;
  • The acquisition of Lane Affiliated Companies, the eighth largest Pepsi bottler in the United States with operations in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico;
  • The acquisition of Pepsi-Cola Batavia Bottling Corp., serving parts of upstate New York; and
  • The Ab-Tex acquisition is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2009.

Last week, PBG raised its second-quarter outlook.

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CENTER STORE

Fruit2O introduces new ‘Essentials’ line

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI From the creators of Fruit2O, the original fruit-flavored water, comes a new fortified water unlike any other — Fruit2O Essentials — providing nutrients found in two servings of fruit with zero calories in each bottle.

Every bottle provides nutrients found in two servings of fruit, including important vitamins and minerals and 1 g of fiber. Each of the six delicious flavors combines a popular fruit with a super fruit delivering uniquely beneficial nutrients. There are six Fruit2O Essentials flavors offered, including cranberry raspberry, strawberry kiwi, peach mango, citrus, blueberry pomegranate and cherry acai.

“The creation of the Fruit2O Essentials line was really in response to a lack of better, more nutritious fortified water options out there for consumers,” said Dave Zellen, brand manager for Fruit2O. “Many fortified waters and juices claim to provide important health benefits, such as immunity-enhancing nutrients and enriched vitamins. The problem is that many of them don’t provide significant levels of vitamins and minerals, and, worse yet, are loaded with extra sugar and calories. With actual benefits of fruit nutrients and zero calories, Fruit2O Essentials is a deliciously easy way for women to better achieve their recommended daily intake of both water and fruit nutrients.”

Fruit2O Essentials is available in many U.S. markets. Single 18-oz bottles will be sold in grocery stores for a recommended retail price of $1.29-$1.49, and in 15- and 20-packs at Club stores for a recommended retail price of $9.99 to $12.89. For more information on Fruit2O Essentials, including a list of specific retail locations, visit www.fruit2o.com.

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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Stonyfield Farm welcomes new strawberry flavored yogurt

BY Anna Mcgrath

LONDONDERRY, N.H. Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt-maker, announced the strawberry flavored addition to their fat free Oikos Organic greek yogurt.

Planted at the bottom of the conveniently packaged Oikos strawberry yogurt cup will be actual strawberry fruit. The entire Oikos line includes other flavors (plain, vanilla, blueberry, honey), all of which make for a healthy 90-calorie or less snack.  

For further information please visit www.oikosorganic.com.

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