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Pepsi onto ‘next’ best thing

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo said that it is ready to test market a new reduced-sugar cola.

The company said that its latest innovation, Pepsi Next, would be available in the Iowa and Wisconsin markets. The beverage offers consumers the taste of a full-calorie cola while touting less sugar, Pepsi said at the Beverage Digest Wall Street Smarts conference on Monday.

"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. "In thorough consumer research, Pepsi Next resonated very well with consumers who are seeking a new, reduced-sugar alternative to their loved cola."

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Hostess celebrates baseball with new promotion

BY Allison Cerra

IRVING, Texas — Hostess is kicking off a summer sweepstakes that celebrates America’s favorite national pastime.

The company, whose brands include Drake’s Hostess, Wonder and more, said that its "You Could Win A Dream Road Trip" promotion offers three grand prize winners and their families the chance to follow their favorite major league baseball team to a city of their choice. What’s more, more than 200 daily prize winners will receive $100 Stub Hub gift cards redeemable for approximately four home game tickets.

How it works: Specially marked packages of Hostess snacks will feature an on-pack promotion code that can be registered online at HostessCakes.com to qualify for the daily and grand prizes.

The promotion will run from June 20 to July 23.

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Old Orchard Brands introduces Very Cherre

BY Allison Cerra

SPARTA, Mich. — Old Orchard Brands is celebrating the flavor of tart cherries with a new beverage line.

Very Cherre is a 100% juice line that includes tart cherry and three tart cherry blends: tart cherry/blueberry, tart cherry/cranberry and tart cherry/pomegranate. The juices are gluten-free and do not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or added sugars, the company said.

Very Cherre beverages will be available mid-summer in 64-oz. bottles for a suggested retail price of $4.99.

"Tart cherry juice has traditionally been found at holistic food stores and seasonal fruit markets," Old Orchard Brands president and founder Mark Saur said. "Even if consumers found it, they’d be forced to mix expensive concentrates at home with varied results. We’re celebrating the original ‘superfruit’ by introducing a pure tart cherry juice that is affordable, convenient and widely accessible to consumers. It also happens to have an incredible taste that any juice fan will love."

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