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Coca-Cola and Senomyx ‘milestone’ in discovery of low-sugar flavor

BY Melissa Valliant

SAN DIEGO Ingredient company Senomyx received a payment from The Coca-Cola Company concerning a recent discovery it described last Tuesday as a milestone in flavor ingredients.

The two companies have been working together to find such a “promising new flavor ingredient” since their April 2002 collaborative, research, development, commercialization and license agreement, which was extended and expanded in April 2008. Though Coca-Cola would not comment and specific details are confidential, Senomyx reports that it has made significant process in developing a flavor ingredient that reduces sugar content while maintaining taste.

Senomyx uses proprietary taste receptor technologies to explore flavor ingredient possibilities for savory, sweet, salty, bitter and cooling tastes. The company has similar agreements with other major food and beverage companies like Campbell Soup Company, Cadbury, Nestle SA and Solae.

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Pepsi to buy Canadian snack maker Spitz

BY Melissa Valliant

NEW YORK In an effort to further expand into the healthy snack category, PepsiCo announced Wednesday it will be buying Canadian sunflower seed maker Spitz International Co.

Spitz would be included in PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business unit and joins True North nut snacks and baked Lay’s potato chips in Pepsi?s handful of healthy food products. Spitz will continue operating in Canada?s Bow Island and Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Pepsi sales, especially beverage, have taken a hit as consumers reevaluate their purchasing options in the tightening economy. “Spitz enables Frito-lay Canada to grow our seed business in Canada and help us expand in the United States, while supporting PepsiCo’s broader health and wellness strategy,”Al Carey, president and chief executive of Frito-Lay North America said. The terms of acquisition were not disclosed.

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Hershey names Idrovo senior vice president, strategy, business development

BY Melissa Valliant

HERSHEY, Pa. Hershey announced Wednesday that Javier Idrovo, former president of Dole Packaged Foods, will be joining the chocolate company as senior vice president of strategy and business development, effective Nov. 3.

Idrovo’s responsibilities include leading Hershey’s strategic plan, overseeing and directing its merger and acquisition activities, developing a decision-making strategy for financial and operational issues and finding new locations in which to expand.

“Over the past year, we have developed and launched a very strong strategic plan,” said David West, president and chief executive officer. “[Idrovo]’s extensive background both in leading a global consumer business and as a management consultant will be of immense value as we implement our plan across the organization. Javier will ensure that we have the proper resources and alignment to successfully implement our strategy and rive long-term growth.”

Idrovo spent much of his career at Dole Packaged Foods, serving as senior vice president of strategy; vice president and chief financial officer and later rising to president. Prior to this experience, he was employed at The Boston Consulting Group, where he analyzed and led business strategies.

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