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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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Kroger rolls out more fuel bonuses for holiday gift card shoppers

BY Alaric DeArment

CINCINNATI In recognition of the holiday season, Kroger will double fuel discounts on gift cards purchased at its stores starting Saturday and ending Dec. 31, the supermarket operator said Thursday.

Gift cards for restaurants, stores and entertainment outlets purchased at Kroger stores will accumulate fuel discounts at double their purchased value, earning 10 cents off for every $50 in gift cards. Customers at Kroger pharmacies will also earn fuel discounts on eligible prescriptions, earning 10 cents off per gallon of gasoline for every two prescriptions filled at a Kroger pharmacy.

The company is offering the program at several of its banners nationwide, including Kroger, Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Fry’s, Gerbes, Hilander, Jay C, King Soopers, Owen?s, Pay Less, QFC and Scott?s.

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