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ConAgra Foods, Constar receive award for Hunt’s Ketchup bottle design, production

BY Jenna Duncan

OMAHA, Neb. ConAgra Foods and Constar International have received the 2008 WorldStar Award from the World Packaging Organization for ConAgra Foods’ 46-ounce Hunt’s Ketchup bottle which is made using Constar’s DiamondClear PET technology, the companies announced Friday.

“At ConAgra Foods, we’re focused and committed to utilizing new and better packaging materials that are environmentally friendly and designed for better recyclability,” ConAgra’s VP of sustainability and channel development, Gail Tavill, said. “We’re proud to receive this prestigious WorldStar Award for our Hunt’s Ketchup bottle.”

ConAgra’s Hunt’s ketchup bottle has also been recognized with a “top sustainable packaging” AmeriStar Award in 2007 from the Institute of Packaging Professionals and a second-place AmeriStar Award in the food category.

Constar’s DiamondClear PET technology has helped ConAgra Foods cut the weight of its 46-ounce ketchup bottles by 12 percent, reducing packaging waste. The reduced-weight bottles also can be recycled.

ConAgra Foods has made a commitment to reducing food packaging waste. In August, the company started to use post-consumer recycled plastic to make frozen meal trays for its brands such as Banquet, Kid Cuisine and Healthy Choice. The company has said this will reduce new plastic waste in landfills by 8 million pounds per year.

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Dr Pepper Snapple joins Stevia-sweetened beverage stampede

BY Rob Eder

NEW YORK Fresh off news that its two biggest competitors plan to launch new diet beverages containing a new sugar alternative made from the plant Stevia, Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced Thursday it also plans to join Coke and Pepsi, and expects to launch a similar beverage product containing the new alternative sweetener.

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Stevia-based sweeteners in foods and beverages.

The sweeteners, made from the leaves of a South American shrub, will provide natural alternatives to chemical sweeteners like Equal and Splenda.

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FDA approves Coca-Cola, PepsiCo sweeteners derived from stevia plant

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA, GEORGIA and PURCHASE, N.Y. The Food and Drug Administration has announced that a sweetener derived from the stevia plant that were developed by Cargill and Coca-Cola, and one developed by PepsiCo, have been approved for use in foods and beverages.

Coca-Cola and Cargill had partnered to develop the branded sweetener Truvia which will be used to sweeten soft drinks and fruit-flavored beverages, the companies have said.

PepsiCo’s PureVia sweetener, also created from a process using rebiana, a natural extract from the South American –native stevia plant, also received designation as “generally safe” for human consumption.

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