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Odwalla releases reduced-calorie juice drinks

BY Jenna Duncan

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. Odwalla natural juice maker has announced the addition of two new low-calorie flavors to its portfolio of juice drinks.

Odwalla Mojito Mambo and Pomegranate Strawberry flavor juice drinks sweetened with Truvia natural sweetener contain 50 calories each per 8-ounce serving, plus the daily requirement of vitamins C and E.

The juice beverages are sweetened with Truvia, a sweetener naturally-derived from the stevia plant, which has been under development for a few years by Cargill and Coca-Cola Co.

“In the Odwalla tradition, flavor comes first, and Odwalla Mojito Mambo and Odwalla Pomegranate Strawberry are delicious, refreshing juice drinks,” Chris Brandt, Odwalla VP of marketing said. “In addition, they offer 50 calories per 8-ounce. serving and excellent antioxidant power.”

Odwalla has said that its new Mojito Mambo and Pomegranate Strawberry juice drinks will be available in 15.2-ounce bottles at natural grocery, health and convenience stores at a suggested retail price of $3.29.

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Pilgrim’s Pride CEO and COO resign

BY Melissa Valliant

PITTSBURG, Texas Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., one of the largest chicken producers in the United States, announced Tuesday that its CEO and COO have stepped down due to the bankruptcy process that it started earlier this month when it filed for bankruptcy.

President and CEO Clint Rivers, as well as chief operating officer Robert Wright, have resigned. Don Jackson, formerly president of Foster Farms’ poultry division, will be filling the role of president and chief executive, following approval by the bankruptcy court. In the meantime, Lonnie Ken Pilgrim, the company’s board chairman, will be interim president.

The company plans to restructure its operations but will be operating as usual while it determines its next steps out of bankruptcy.

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Cargill acquires two of Carneco’s meat processing facilities

BY Jenna Duncan

COLUMBUS, Ohio Cargill Value Added Meats, part of Cargill Inc., has said that it will complete its acquisition of Carneco Foods by January. The companies announced that they had come to terms on a purchase agreement Thursday for Cargill to buy two of Carneco’s processing plants, reports said.

Cargill Value Added Meats was searching for a new operating plant after it lost its Booneville, Ark., facility to a fire March 23. by fire on Easter Sunday. Cargill Value Added Meats president, John O’Carroll, told the press that Cargill was approached by Lopez Foods, the owner of Carneco, and Lopoez offered to sell its two facilities. O’Carroll also said that originally Cargill has planned to open a new plant in Texas.

Carneco is the maker of beef chubs, frozen beef patties and pre-packaged fresh ground beef.

Details of the buyout are said to be finalized on or around Jan. 2, 2009.

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