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Cott suffers competition from name brand soft drinks

BY Alaric DeArment

OTTAWA The biggest manufacturer of private-label soda has had to lower its profit forecast because of competition from major soft drink manufacturers.

Cott, which makes soda for such retailers as Wal-Mart, said its customers were attempting to attract customers by courting such companies as Coca-Cola. Following the announcement, the company’s stock decreased to $1.90 in New York trading.

“There are many retailers that are looking at the big national-brand [carbonated soft drink] leaders as people that they can count on to drive volume and bring traffic in the store,” interim chief executive officer David Gibbons said in a Wednesday conference call.

In addition to Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Choice private label brand, Cott also makes private label sodas for HEB, Tesco and Metro, as well as RC Cola and various fruit juices and energy drinks.

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Coca-Cola opens Mongolian bottling facility

BY Jenna Duncan

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia Coca-Cola last week announced the opening of a $22 million bottling plant—the second largest in Mongolia.

Prior to the new plant in Ulaanbaatar, the MCS Coca-Cola plant had been the only Coca-Cola bottler in the Mongolian market.

“I’m delighted to see MCS Coca-Cola continue to exceed all projections in sales volume and profit,” president and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co. and Odjargal Jambaljamts, Muhtar Kent, said. “By posting an average annual volume growth of nearly 50 percent year on year, the Mongolian business has established itself as one of the strongest performing operations globally.”

Coca-Cola said that it sees great opportunities for growing its Chinese and Mongolian businesses, and in return it will offer jobs and more local business opportunities. Coca-Cola Beverages Co. of China currently has about 30,000 employees, mostly all local citizens, the company has said.

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group invests in Big Red

BY Alaric DeArment

DALLAS Dr Pepper Snapple Group will buy a minority stake in cream soda manufacturer Big Red, Dr Pepper Snapple has announced.

The beverage maker is already the largest product distributor for Big Red, based in Waco, Texas.

The companies did not disclose the price of the acquisition or other terms of the agreement.

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