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Dr Pepper Snapple Group expands energy drink portfolio

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper Snapple Group has expanded its Venom Energy portfolio with the addition of fruit punch and mango flavors called Death Adder and Killer Taipan, respectively.

Death Adder and Killer Taipan are the latest additions to the Venom Energy product line, which originally launched in June 2008 with two flavors: Black Mamba (regular) and Mojave Rattler (low-carbohydrate/low calorie).

“Energy drink enthusiasts are looking for more than just energy these days; they also want a variety of flavors and great taste,” said Chanda Rhodes, marketing manager for Venom Energy.  “The new Venom Energy fruit punch and mango varieties deliver unique and delicious flavors not typically associated with energy drinks.  Plus, they deliver that hardcore energy to keep you going all day.”

Venom Energy fruit punch, mango, regular and low-carbohydrate/low calorie offerings are available in a 16.9-oz resealable aluminum bottle at retailers for a suggested retail price of $2.39. Venom Energy regular and low-carbohydrate/low calorie offerings are also available at retailers in 4-packs of 16-oz aluminum cans for a suggested retail price of $6.99.

The Venom Energy blend contains caffeine, l-carnitine, guarana, ginseng and taurine – ingredients that consumers look for in their energy drinks.  For additional information, visit www.venomenergy.com.

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PepsiAmericas forms transaction committee to review Pepsi Co. proposal

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS PepsiAmericas Inc. said Friday that its board of directors has formed a transactions committee consisting of independent directors which has begun to review the non-binding proposal from PepsiCo Inc.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., Briggs and Morgan, P.A. and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP have been retained as advisors.

As previously announced, PepsiCo has proposed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of PepsiAmericas’ common stock.

With annual sales of $4.9 billion in 2008, PepsiAmericas employs more than 20,000 people and operates 33 manufacturing facilities and over 175 distribution centers across its markets.

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Study suggests eating dried fruit can reduce risk of abdominal obesity

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW ORLEANS Eating raisins and other dried fruits can decrease the likelihood of abdominal obesity, a study presented Wednesday at the Experimental Biology conference in New Orleans suggests.

Funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board, the study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004, classifying as dried fruit eaters those who ate one-eighth cup or more of dried fruit. The study found lower rates of abdominal obesity among that group.

“The results of this analysis showed a lower prevalence of obesity, specifically abdominal obesity, among adults who consumed dried fruit as compared to those who did not eat dried fruit,” Food and Nutrition Database Research Inc. president Debra Keast said.

Additional data presented at the conference showed that raisins have large amounts of fructans, dietary fiber that functions as a prebiotic and may benefit the colon’s health. Fructans are produced during the drying process and are not present in fresh raisin grapes.

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