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PepsiCo announces major distribution agreement with ROCKSTAR Energy Drink

BY Melissa Valliant

NEW YORK PepsiCo has signed a multiyear deal to distribute ROCKSTAR Energy Drink, giving the cola company a significant push toward becoming a leader in the energy drink market and making it the master distributor of the brand.

The energy drinks will be distributed in most of the United States and all of Canada by Pepsi Bottling Group, PepsiAmericas, Pepsi Bottling Ventures and other independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers. ROCKSTAR still takes full responsibility for research and development, marketing and manufacturing.

This is PepsiCo’s fourth claim to the energy drink segment, as it already distributes AMP, No Fear and Starbucks brands.

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Rite Aid pulls more peanut products

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Feb. 18 added six products identified by the manufacturer as containing peanuts from Peanut Corporation of America, currently the focus of a Food and Drug Administration investigation into potential salmonella contamination, to be pulled from store shelves and included in the company’s initial voluntary recall announced Feb. 6.

Rite Aid is not aware of any reported cases of illness related to these products and removed the items from store shelves as a precautionary measure, the retailer stated.

While the company listed two of the items in its Feb. 6 press release announcing the voluntary recall, four nearly identical items by the same manufacturer but with different UPC codes were also pulled from Rite Aid store shelves by Feb. 6.

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BI-LO names new president and CEO

BY Alaric DeArment

MAULDIN, S.C. Supermarket chain BI-LO has named an executive with more than 30 years of experience in the grocery industry as its president and CEO.

The chain said it had given the post to Michael Byars, who previously served as president and CEO of Dallas-based Minyards Food Stores. Before Minyards, Byars worked with Kash N Karry Supermarkets and Food Lion Stores. 

“We are fortunate to have someone with the background of Michael joining BI-LO,” interim CEO Randall Onstead said in a statement. “He’s an outstanding leader who is in tune with how best to serve our customers and inspire our employees.” 

Based in Mauldin, S.C., BI-LO is a banner of supermarket operator Lone Star U.S. Acquisitions. It operates stores in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

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