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Pepsi to buy Canadian snack maker Spitz

BY Melissa Valliant

NEW YORK In an effort to further expand into the healthy snack category, PepsiCo announced Wednesday it will be buying Canadian sunflower seed maker Spitz International Co.

Spitz would be included in PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business unit and joins True North nut snacks and baked Lay’s potato chips in Pepsi?s handful of healthy food products. Spitz will continue operating in Canada?s Bow Island and Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Pepsi sales, especially beverage, have taken a hit as consumers reevaluate their purchasing options in the tightening economy. “Spitz enables Frito-lay Canada to grow our seed business in Canada and help us expand in the United States, while supporting PepsiCo’s broader health and wellness strategy,”Al Carey, president and chief executive of Frito-Lay North America said. The terms of acquisition were not disclosed.

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Sam’s Club plans store specializing in products for Hispanic shoppers

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK Wal-Mart announced to its investors on Tuesday that it will revamp the Sam’s Club concept slightly to appeal to Hispanic customers and open a “Mas Club” store that carries a variety of products imported from Mexico, such as candy, meats, produce, seafood and other items.

The announcement was made on the second day of Wal-Mart’s investors’ meeting in Bentonville, Ark.

Sam’s Club president and chief executive, Doug McMillon, said that rethinking store concepts and reaching out to customers was crucial because while Sam’s Club sales numbers were growing, but membership is not.

The first Mas Club is slated to open in early 2009 in Houston. A separate, new membership program with be initiated for Mas Club, independent of Sam’s Club, the company said.

Sam’s Club is also testing smaller format “neighborhood” stores in some markets, the company said.

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Del Monte prefacing launch of new products with ADA conference

BY Melissa Valliant

SAN FRANCISCO Del Monte, one of the United States’ largest food producers, is holding an ADA conference with their registered dietitian Laura Ali in order to promote the health benefits of their current and upcoming products.

Ali will be offering recipe samples to show attendees how to incorporate more vegetable servings into their daily intake.

New Del Monte products include Del Monte Superfruit snacks, Del Monte Fruit Naturals apples and oranges, red grapefruit bowls, no salt added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, and 50 percent less salt corn.

“The Company’s presence at the ADA conference calls attention to the healthfulness of our fruit and vegetable products­ from our Fruit Naturals products, which are an important source of vitamin C, to our reduced salt and no salt added vegetable products,”Ali said. “These convenient, great-tasting products make it easy to get the four-and-a-half cups of fruits and vegetable MyPyramid recommends as part of a daily diet.”

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