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PepsiCo acquires Karinto snack business in Peru

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo announced that it has acquired leading Peruvian snack business Karinto S.A.C., maker of Peru’s top-selling corn chips, Los Cuates, as well as a popular line of nuts and seeds.

“The Karinto brands span a broad array of snack foods, offering consumers a variety of convenient choices, from tasty treats to healthy options,” said Olivier Weber, president of South America Foods for PepsiCo. “Strategically, we continue to strengthen our core snacks business as we extend our presence in healthy, macrosnack occasions, two of our global food growth priorities. These products are a perfect complement to PepsiCo’s portfolio in the region. The strength of the brands and the quality of people who make and sell them represent fuel for growth in an important emerging market — a powerful combination.”

The addition of Karinto’s snacks reflects PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment to transform its portfolio to include a wide range of products. This transaction also reflects PepsiCo’s long-term commitment to invest in South America. It follows the recent acquisition of Brazilian snack company Comercio de Doces Lucky Ltda., maker of the popular brands Torcida and Fofura.

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Meijer rolls out new branded natural foods line

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Two years after introducing its successful organic line of products, Midwest grocer Meijer is set to unveil another health-focused brand that does not contain any artificial ingredients or additives.

Meijer Naturals, which will begin appearing on store shelves April 19, was created to provide a healthy and tasty alternative for customers who seek wholesome foods that are minimally processed and contain nothing artificial.

“Meijer Naturals is a natural fit for us, and a great fit for those who lead a smart and active lifestyle where healthy living and eating are paramount,” said Ralph Fischer, group VP foods at Meijer. “This is an exciting brand that we feel today’s shopper will embrace given that it’s delicious, wholesome and a great value.”

With 75 different items comprising its product lineup, Meijer Naturals is a sister brand to Meijer Organics.  Positioned as a natural alternative to processed mainstream products, the new brand will include everything from snacks and sauces to desserts and beverages.

This health-oriented brand contains no genetically modified organisms, no high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, no added hydrogenated oils or trans fats, no artificial food colorings or flavorings, and no artificial preservatives.

A sampling of some of the products that fall under the Meijer Naturals brand include Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix, White Cheddar Popcorn, Roasted & Salted Almonds, Ketchup, Apple Sauce, Pomegranate Juice, Triple Chocolate Chip & Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Multi- Grain Crackers, Tomato Sauce and Corn & Bean Mild Salsa.

“We‘re committed to helping our customers and their families eat healthier, and Meijer Naturals is certainly a smart choice,” said Shari Steinbach, Healthy Living manager at Meijer. “Coupled with our Meijer Organics line, this new product furthers our reputation as the pre-eminent health and wellness brand among grocers.”

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 185 supercenters throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

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Frito-Lay’s SunChips brand changing the future of snack food packaging

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas SunChips, Frito-Lay’s popular line of multigrain snacks, announced today that in 2010 it will introduce the first fully compostable snack chip bag made from plant-based materials. The change is designed to significantly improve the environmental impact of its packaging.

This month, the SunChips brand is taking the first step towards this transformational packaging. The outer layer of packaging on 10.5-oz. size SunChips snack bags will be made with a compostable, plant-based renewable material, polylactic acid. By 2010, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division plans to rollout a package for its SunChips snacks where all layers are made from PLA material so the package is 100% compostable.

“We know environmentally-friendly packaging is a priority for our SunChips consumer,” said Gannon Jones, VP marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “[Today’s] launch of packaging made with 1/3 renewable materials is an important first step towards having a fully compostable chip bag in market by Earth Day 2010.”

Current snack food packaging has three layers: a printed outer layer with packaging visuals/graphics, an inner layer, which serves as a barrier to maintain the quality and integrity of the product, and a middle layer that joins the other two layers. When the packaging is 100% compostable, it will fully decompose in about 14 weeks when placed in a hot, active compost pile or bin. NatureWorks LLC is providing the PLA, which is trademarked under the Ingeo name.

Once the 100% compostable bag is introduced, the company anticipates the switch will lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the production of the packaging and the elimination of petroleum-based packaging material.

To inform consumers about the new packaging initiatives, the brand will be communicating through traditional marketing efforts, including print, TV and digital advertising. As part of the current packaging change, the front panel of the current 10.5 oz. size SunChips package features a callout, “Renewable materials make up 33% of this bag.” To communicate the next improvement, the digital strategy includes a video showing how the bag decomposes over 14 weeks. Also, samples of the 100% compostable material will be distributed at major retailers across the country and as part of a special People magazine ad.

SunChips multigrain snacks, originally introduced in 1991, contain a full serving of whole grains, 0 grams of trans fats, and are made with sunflower oil. SunChips snacks, available in Original, Harvest Cheddar, French Onion, Garden Salsa and Peppercorn Ranch flavors, provide 18 grams of whole grains per one ounce serving from a blend of corn, oats and wheat.

The packaging innovation is in line with the commitment by PepsiCo, Frito-Lay’s parent, to reduce the company’s impact on the environment through water, energy and packaging initiatives.

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