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Report: Ukrop enters prepared foods, baked goods biz

BY Alaric DeArment

RICHMOND, Va. The Ukrop family may have exited the supermarket business with the sale of the Ukrop’s chain to Royal Ahold subsidiary Giant Food of Carlisle, Pa. — and the conversion of its stores to Martin’s Food Markets — but the family hasn’t given up on food altogether, according to published reports.

The Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch reported Monday that Robert Ukrop had started a new company, Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, which makes prepared foods and baked goods.

The company is marketing much of the food through Martin’s Food Markets, as well as to some other chains, though the Times-Dispatch reported that neither Ukrop’s Homestyle nor Martin’s would disclose terms of the deal.

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group to distribute Vita Coco

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper Snapple Group has reached an agreement with a coconut water brand to distribute its product.

DPS will distribute five Vita Coco flavors: 100% pure pineapple, acai and pomegranate, peach and mango, and tangerine. Initially, distribution will be expanded to Florida and Georgia, with other states to follow. Vita Coco will be available in 11.2-oz., 17-oz. and 34-oz. tetra packs.

“Allied brands are an important part of our overall route-to-market strategy, enabling us to enhance our own brand portfolio with strong players like Vita Coco,” said Rodger Collins, packaged beverages president for Dr Pepper Snapple Group. “We’re excited about the opportunity to expand Vita Coco via the DPS footprint.”

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Fresh & Easy to carry Reed’s beverages

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Fresh & Easy stores throughout California, Arizona and Nevada will begin carrying selected Reed’s and Virgil’s products in all of the chain’s 159 locations.

“Fresh & Easy is a true innovator, providing the highest quality, freshest food to neighborhoods in the Western United States with stores that are about a third of the size of the average U.S. supermarket,” stated Chris Reed, founder and CEO of Reed’s. “[Fresh & Easy’s] smaller size format and focus on quality and freshness makes this a perfect fit for Reed’s all-natural products. We are very excited to be working with them as they increase their footprint in the United States and position themselves to become one of the top supermarket retailers in the country.”

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