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Unilever and PepsiCo to expand ready-to-drink tea joint venture

BY Tara Smith

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever and PepsiCo today announced their agreement to expand their international partnership regarding the marketing and distribution of the Lipton ready-to-drink tea products.

The agreement, which builds on the 1991 Pepsi Lipton Tea Partnership North American joint venture, adds 11 countries to the partnership’s existing ready-to-drink tea business: Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Korea, Taiwan and South Africa. Leveraging the complementary strengths of Unilver’s Lipton brand tea know-how with Pepsi’s bottling and distribution network, the agreement will double the companies’ current joint venture and positions them growth opportunities in the rapidly expanding global market for ready-to-drink tea.

“This agreement gives us the opportunity to build on the tremendous success of the joint ventures to date. It provides an excellent opportunity to realize the long-term potential of the Lipton ready-to-drink brand, and Pepsi’s expertise in the drinks sector will help us drive innovations faster and more competitively,” stated Vindi Banga, Unilever’s president for Foods.

The companies, which will continue to own 50 percent of the joint venture, are awaiting approvals from relevant regulatory authorities, employee consultation and, for Portugal and South Africa, agreement with Unilever’s existing partners regarding the agreement. The transaction is expected to take effect in January 2008.

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Too Tarts SmartChoice has the golden ticket with melted ice cream spray

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA Innovative Candy Concepts, creator of the Too Tarts Smart Choice brand, has reinvented a childhood favorite with its new melted ice cream spray, set to premiere at the annual All Candy Expo this weekend.

As an industry first, the Melted Ice-Cream Sprays are a sugar-free and fat-free treat that come in a super sized spray bottle that contains 33 percent more candy per container. Each spray contains 6 servings at only 10 calories per serving. Ice cream lovers can choose from three premium flavors: Blueberry, Strawberry and Banana-Split.

Suggested retail price will be approximately $1.29 per spray bottle. For a limited time, Innovative Candy Concepts will offer consumers a chance to receive a “Free” Too Tarts SmartChoice Melted Ice Cream T-shirt with proof of purchase.

Innovative Candy Concepts, manufacturers of Too Tarts SmartChoice and Sinfully Delicious candy brands, is a privately owned company based in Atlanta, GA. The Too Tarts SmartChoice product lineup includes Super Sweet and Sour Blast Liquid Spray Candy, Xtra Sour Goo, Sweet and Sour Suck Ups, and SourWave Fruit Juice Drink. 

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Cadbury rejects second offer for drinks business

BY Adam Kraemer

LONDON Cadbury Schweppes rejected a second offer to buy its drinks division, according to CNNMoney.com.

The Web site cited a Financial Times story that claimed a group of private equity firms, including Blackstone Grou and Lion Capital, offered over $13 billion, which Cadbury turned down as it would have been involved in financing the sale.

This second rejection increases the likelihood that Cadbury will spin off its drinks business, which includes Snapple and Dr. Pepper.

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