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Kroger opens refreshment center dept. in stores

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Kroger has opened a new refreshment center department in select stores, In-Store Marketing Institute reported.

In partnership with Dr Pepper Snapple Group and marketing agency LG&P, Kroger redesigned its beverage category into a “streamlined, four-aisle destination”.

According to In-Store Marketing Institute, the program “reserves gondolas for specific categories, which are designated by color: red for carbonated beverages, green for juice and blue for water and sports drinks. Color-coded aisle violators and floor strips help identify the categories, while in-line headers carry lifestyle images and evocative phrases. Green headers, for instance, describe juice as, ‘healthy, fruity, flavourful,’ while blue signage represents sports drinks with the phrase, ‘restore, refuel, replenish.’” Outer gondolas meanwhile stock carbonated beverages and water while the interior aisles feature shorter endcaps, two of which run into coolers devoted to energy drinks and such ‘New Age’ beverages as vitamin-infused water and tea. Endcaps include permanent displays from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s Gatorade.

Meanwhile, select Kroger stores have also installed a similar programme in the snacks aisle where colour-coded graphics identify six distinctive categories: ‘Fun Favourites’ (yellow), ‘Sensible Snacks’ (green), ‘Kroger Snacks’ (blue), ‘Family Size’ (red), ‘Multi-Pack’ (orange) and ‘Hometown Favourites” (yellow-orange).

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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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Pepsi Co’s Frito-Lay division announces recycled packaging initiative

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo, today announced a new partnership with TerraCycle, an upcycling company that will take used packaging from Frito-Lay snack products and turn them into affordable, quality goods. Through this joint program, consumers and local community groups can earn money by collecting the used packaging, and at the same time, redirect packaging from landfills.

Over the past few years, the company’s packaging initiatives have made some significant strides. This includes reducing the amount of plastic in packaging by 10% and over the last five years eliminating 12 million pounds of materials used to make the snack bags. Earlier this month, the company announced that in 2010 its SunChips brand will be introducing a fully compostable bag made from plant-based renewable material. Marking the company’s latest effort, Frito-Lay will be the first snack food company to fund the collection and upcycling of its used packaging.

“Consumers interact everyday with our company and our brands through packaging,” said Gannon Jones, vice president, portfolio marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “The TerraCycle program builds on our existing efforts to minimize the impact of packaging, while also engaging and rewarding our consumers for being part of the solution.”

The company is asking consumers to form Chip Bag Brigades; for every bag a brigade collects and sends to TerraCycle, Frito-Lay will donate two cents to their charity of choice. Initially, there will be 1,000 collection sites and more are expected to be added during the year. The goal of the program is to engage at least 150,000 people and divert more than 5 million bags from landfills. Consumers can learn more about forming Chip Bag Brigades at www.fritolay.com/terracycle.

The packaging from all the company’s popular brands, such as Lay’s potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and Cheetos cheese flavored snacks, will be used to make quality, affordable products such as purses, pencil cases and tote bags, which will be available at major retailers like Walmart by late 2009.

This packaging innovation is in line with the commitment by PepsiCo, Frito-Lay’s parent, to reduce the company’s impact on the environment through water, energy and packaging initiatives.

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