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Beech-Nut promises ‘no junk’ added to toddler foods

BY Jenna Duncan

LATHAM, N.Y. Beech-Nut Monday announced the launch of its new Let’s Grow! line of meals and snacks created for toddlers along with a “no junk promise” directed at mothers.

Beech-Nut created a list of criteria to assure that the Let’s Grow! Toddler foods do not contain artificial colors, flavors, MSG, preservatives, or refined sugar and adhere to a simple list of natural ingredients. Additionally, the company said, the Let’s Grow! Line toddler foods contain vitamins and minerals for growth and healthy development.

“At Beech-Nut we recognize that moms need more options for convenient and nutritional food for their toddlers that also taste great,” president and chief executive officer Christoph Rudolf said in a statement. “By introducing Beech-Nut Let’s Grow! we are offering moms all three, along with the added promise that we’re doing our part to cut the unnecessary junk out of their little one’s diet.”

Beech-Nut Let’s Grow! Line’s tummy meals and mini meals boast up to 50 percent less sodium than comparable Gerber Graduates meals, the company said. Also, Beech-Nut Let’s Grow!all-natural fruit nibbles contain a full serving of fruit, and Beech-Nut Let’s Grow! cookies and biscuits contain no refined sugar, the company has said.

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Pepsi sets new challenge: get more eco-friendly

BY Jenna Duncan

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo today announced the launch of two new Web sites, PepsiEcoChallenge.com and PepsiRecycling.com, which are geared towards promoting environmental awareness and urging users to become more active in sustainability efforts.

At PepsiEcoChallenge.com, three categories—energy, water and packaging—detail things that people can do every day to lessen their carbon footprint. The site urges people to lower water consumption by 20 percent, reduce the use of electricity by 20 percent and lessen dependence on fuels by 25 percent before the year 2015.

At PepsiRecycling.com, visitors are invited to take the Pepsi Recycling Challenge and promise to recycle more beverage cans and bottles. Site viewers can also register to enter different sweepstakes contests with prizes ranging from T-shirts and bicycles to Smart Cars. Furthermore, every Pepsi Stuff point entered in sweepstakes on the site will equal a $0.10-cent contribution to Keep America Beautiful.

“The Eco Challenge theme draws on our heritage with the Pepsi Challenge,” vice president of marketing for PepsiCo North America, Victor Melendez, said in a statement. “As the Web site points out, today’s challenge goes beyond the cola wars. The Eco Challenge is about protecting our planet’s resources for generations to come—a challenge that cuts across brands, companies, industries and even continents.”

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Shareholders of InBev support Anheuser-Busch takeover

BY Jenna Duncan

LEUVEN, Belgium Shareholders of European beverage giant InBev Monday voiced support for the $52 billion buyout offer made for U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch.

InBev shareholders also okayed changing the name of the new-formed mega-company to  Anheuser-Busch InBev, as well as an increase in capital and share issue that could bring in around $10 billion.

On the U.S. side, InBev chief executive officer Carlos Brito assured A-B employees that the new company would take strides to protect U.S. jobs, and not unduly shut down operations at A-B 12 breweries, as long as “there are no new or increased federal tax or state excise taxes or unforeseen extraordinary events that would negatively impact A-B’s business. … We are very pleased to complete this important milestone and we remain on track to close the transaction by the end of the year,” Brito said in a statement.

To close the deal, approval will have to be met by Anheuser-Busch shareholders and market regulators.

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