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Coca-Cola gets eco-friendly with new ‘PlantBottle’

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA The Coca-Cola Company unveiled Thursday a new plastic bottle made partially from plants.

The “PlantBottle” is fully recyclable, has a lower reliance on a non-renewable resource, and reduces carbon emissions, compared with petroleum-based PET plastic bottles.

“The ‘PlantBottle’ is a significant development in sustainable packaging innovation,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola. “It builds on our legacy of environmental ingenuity and sets the course for us to realize our vision to eventually introduce bottles made with materials that are 100% recyclable and renewable.”

The “PlantBottle” is currently made through an innovative process that turns sugar cane and molasses, a by-product of sugar production, into a key component for PET plastic. Coca-Cola is also exploring the use of other plant materials for future generations of the “PlantBottle.”

Manufacturing the new plastic bottle is more environmentally efficient as well. A life-cycle analysis conducted by Imperial College of London indicates the “PlantBottle™” with 30 percent plant-base material reduces carbon emissions by up to 25 percent, compared with petroleum-based PET.

Another advantage to the “PlantBottle” is that, unlike other plant-based plastics, it can be processed through existing manufacturing and recycling facilities without contaminating traditional PET. So, the material in the “PlantBottle” can be used, recycled and reused again and again.

Coca-Cola North America will pilot the “PlantBottle” with Dasani and sparkling brands in select markets later this year and with Vitaminwater in 2010. The innovative bottles will be identified through on-package messages and in-store point of sale displays. Web-based communications will also highlight the bottles’ environmental benefits.

“The ‘PlantBottle’ represents the next step in evolving our system toward the bottle of the future,” said Scott Vitters, director of sustainable packaging of Coca-Cola. “This innovation is a real win because it moves us closer to our vision of zero waste with a material that lessens our carbon footprint and is also recyclable.”

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group reports 37% jump in EPS for Q1

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper Snapple Group reported a 37% increase in earnings per share for its first quarter 2009, the company announced Wednesday.

The company reported first quarter 2009 earnings of $0.52 per share, compared with earnings of $0.38 per share in the prior-year period. Excluding net gains related to the Hansen contract termination settlement and the sale of certain distribution rights in the current year period, as well as restructuring charges in the prior year period, the company earned $0.37 per share compared with $0.40 per share in 2008.

For the first quarter, reported net sales declined 3%. Excluding the loss of Hansen product distribution and on a currency neutral basis, net sales increased 4% on 6% sales volume growth and solid pricing actions. Net sales growth was negatively impacted by a higher mix of carbonated soft drink concentrates and value juices. Segment operating profit, as adjusted, increased 18% reflecting lower commodity and fuel costs, operating benefits from higher volumes and a strong cost control focus. Reported income from operations was $265 million, including $62 million of net pre-tax gains related to certain distribution agreement changes.

“While the U.S. economy remains weak, consumer sentiment appears to be improving and we’re continuing to see a shift in purchase habits toward CSDs and other value offerings,” said Dr Pepper Snapple president and CEO Larry Young. “Our portfolio of CSDs and value juices performed extremely well in the quarter led by strong gains in Crush distribution and Hawaiian Punch and solid Dr Pepper and Core 4 growth. Pressure remains at the premium end of the portfolio, especially with Snapple. We’re confident, however, that recent product and package changes coupled with strong marketing programs will return this brand to growth toward the end of this year.”

Young added, “As we look ahead, we see a North America beverage industry that will be markedly different, yet has the potential to reignite category growth. For DPS, this presents a unique opportunity to build upon our already strong growth prospects. This will require even greater attention to revenue, cost and productivity management and ongoing investments in our brands to ensure we capture our fair share of the growth.”

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Bacardi rolls out new RTD beverage

BY Allison Cerra

MIAMI A variation of of the original Bacardi Mojito is now available in a new ready-to-drink design.

The Bacardi Classic Cocktail Raspberry Mojito is made with Bacardi Superior Rum, natural lime and mint flavors and an extra burst of ripened raspberries.

“Expanding on the success of the Bacardi Classic Cocktail Mojito RTD introduced last year, the new raspberry flavored variety is the perfect addition to the brand’s ready-to-drink portfolio,” said Gordon Chisholm, brand director, Bacardi Flavored Rums. “After the original mint and lime mojito, the raspberry mojito is one of the most popular mojitos requested at bars and nightclubs, so offering a convenient, ready-to-serve raspberry mojito for home entertaining was a natural extension for the brand.

The Bacardi Classic Cocktail Raspberry Mojito package features a distinctive translucent bottle and a sleek, sophisticated design. The 15% alcohol-by-volume (30 proof) ready-to-drink cocktail is available in a 750-ml size as well as a 1.75-liter. It has a suggested retail price of $12.99 and $19.99.

For more information, please visit www.BACARDI.com.

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