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PepsiCo expands non-carb beverage portfolio

BY Tara Smith

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo announced plans Sept. 7 to significantly expand its leading non-carbonated portfolio in the United States, including the introduction of two new products from the makers of Gatorade.

Gatorade, the No. 1-selling sports drink brand is expanding with the new G2, a low-calorie electrolyte beverage containing only 25 calories per 8 ounce serving, and a new vitamin-enhanced water from Propel called Propel Invigorating Water, which is designed to hydrate and nourish. Propel Invigorating Water is mildly caffeinated and lightly flavored and contains 20 calories per 8 ounce serving.

PepsiCo also is restaging its two enhanced waters, Aquafina Alive and SoBe Life Water. The SoBe Life Water is reformulated with antioxidants, vitamins and herbs and contains 30 percent fewer calories than older formulations. Aquafina Alive also is being reformulated, this time with a sweetener blend, additional nutrients and fewer calories.

“These innovative new products give our unparalleled portfolio even greater strength, and build on PepsiCo’s strong leadership positions in water, isotonics and tea,” said John Compton, chief executive officer of PepsiCo North America.

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Whole Foods announces price drops, new focus for its recently acquired Wild Oats stores

BY Adam Kraemer

AUSTIN, Texas In an effort to win over Wild Oats Markets shoppers in the wake of a contentious acquisition process that included a government challenge, Whole Foods Market announced its plans for the Rocky Mountain region, including a permanent cut in prices and a focus on shoppers in a hurry, Reuters reported.

Following a court decision at the beginning of the week that effectively ended the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge of the $565 million deal, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods is making an effort to show Wild Oats shoppers that, far from the government’s claims, the deal would lead to lower prices and improved stores.

The first full-service Wild Oats store, located in Boulder, Colo., will be the experimental base for Whole Foods Market Express. Whole foods has also said that it will cut prices at all 23 Wild Oats locations in the region—including Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Utah, Idaho and Kansas City, Mo.—and offer a 10-percent-off weekend.

While Wild Oats had already closed some of its underperforming locations, Whole Foods said to expect more. In addition, the company will be selling off Wild Oats’ 35 Henry’s and Sun Harvest stores and a distribution center to Smart & Final, located in Los Angeles, according to Reuters.

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Coca-Cola Co. enters Glaceau distribution agreement with Coca-Cola Enterprises

BY Tara Smith

ATLANTA The Coca-Cola Co. on Thursday announced that it has entered an into a distribution agreement with its bottling partner, Coca-Cola Enterprises, and Glaceau distributors for its newly acquired Glaceau brands smartwater, vitaminwawter and vitaminenergy.

Beginning November 5, CCE will carry all major packages’ sizes and flavors for the brands in the most U.S. territories and channels. Several current Glaceau distributors, including Big Geyser in New York City and Haralambos in Los Angeles County, also will continue distribution of the brands in their respective territories. In such channels as foodservice customers, club and natural food stores, distribution of the Glaceau portfolio will be manages directly by the Coca-Cola North America Glaceau unit.

CCE will work with Coca-Cola North America and Glaceau over the next 60 days to ensure a smooth distribution transition. The impact of the Glaceau acquisition on 2007 results is not expected to be significant.

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