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Coca-Cola working on thick, dessert beverage made with rice

BY Melissa Valliant

ATLANTA It seems Coca-Cola is looking for revenue-raising opportunities outside of the soft drink category. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the beverage giant has filed a patent for a rich, dessert-type product, thickened with rice.

The product’s added rice extracts or derivatives would provide it with a cream- or custard-like texture, and the company’s application explains that textures with varying degrees of thickness could be developed. A “dairy-free, low caloric, low fat beverage” was described, sounding strangely similar to Pepsi Bottling Group’s Muscle Milk, a relatively new product that has thrived in the nutrition beverage category.

Coke’s mystery creation may also include starch, protein, fiber, fat, fruit flavors and sweet flavors frequently associated with ice cream, pie, cake or pudding.

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Unilever revives luxury dessert Viennetta in time for holidays

BY Jenna Duncan

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever Ice Cream has announced it will bring back Viennetta frozen desserts. Viennetta is a frozen vanilla or chocolate dessert cake covered in chocolate layers.

“This sophisticated, rich frozen treat is great for any home-entertaining occasion, whether you’re a guest in search of the ideal hostess gift, a hostess looking for a delicious dessert to complement the night’s meal, or a mom who simply wants to please her family,” said Ice Cream senior brand director David Burrows said in a statement. “Viennetta is the perfect holiday dessert experience, so we wanted to reintroduce the product in time for those celebrations with loved ones and friends.”

Viennetta was first released in England in 1982 and later released in the United States in 1992. It was sold through 2003, Unilever Ice Cream said.

Vanilla and triple chocolate Viennetta desserts are available at retailers across the United States from October 2008 to February 2009. Suggested retail price for a 5-ounce Viennetta cake is $2.99.

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Spartan begins work on Glen’s Market prototype store

BY Michael Johnsen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Spartan Stores will begin construction on its next-generation prototype for its Glen’s Market banner on Tuesday, according to published reports.

The new prototype grocer will feature a full-service pharmacy equipped with a drive-thru.

Glen’s Markets boasts 34 locations throughout Michigan.

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