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Pepsi to close six plants; cut 3,300 jobs

BY Melissa Valliant

NEW YORK PepsiCo announced Tuesday it plans on eliminating 3,300 jobs and closing six of its plants within the next few months. The company suffered a 9.5 percent drop in third-quarter profit and expects to take even more of a hit due to the surging U.S. dollar.

By cutting approximately 1.8 percent of its global work force, PepsiCo estimates it will save $350 million to $400 million in 2009 and pretax savings of more than $1.2 billion throughout the next three years.

The major beverage conglomerate plans to focus on its most popular product—carbonated soft drinks—and improving its marketing campaign, rather than following its recent strategy of branching out toward pricey alternatives, including energy drinks, sparkling juice and ready-to-drink teas.

“We’re looking at re-engaging consumers, keeping the ones we have and making sure we’re getting additional consumers into the fold,” chief financial officer Richard Goodman said.

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HEB, Food Lion help families plan meals for $10

BY Jenna Duncan

SAN ANTONIO, Texas Studies have shown that more people are eating at home to save money, instead of going out to restaurants. To respond to the growing number of home-cooked meals, HEB and Food Lion have both launched a line of budget meals designed to save customers time and money.

HEB’s “Feed a family of four for less than $10” is a program running on HEB’s Web site and in an email newsletter that presents seven different meal plans to feed a family four for under $10 with its “Fully Cooked” as the centerpiece. Recipes include a fajita Santa Fe chicken dinner, popcorn chicken salad dinner, spaghetti and meatballs and Texas ranch burger entrees.

Similarly, Food Lion has launched a “dinner for under $10” program to help families budget meals. Help in planning on a budget can be found on Food Lion’s Web site as well as with in-store signs.

“Our customers recently could find in one place all the ingredients for a spaghetti dinner for four for under $10,” Gene Faller, Food Lion’s vice president of the dry category said. “The next featured meal was a chicken biscuit dinner for under $10.”

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Missouri Price Chopper stores, Homeland Food to become Apple Market stores

BY Jenna Duncan

ST. LOUIS, Mo. Three grocery stores in the St. Joseph area will convert to Apple Market stores, local reports have said. The changeover expands Apple Markets’ presence in the Missouri area.

Two Price Chopper stores and a Homeland Food store, all owned by Oklahoma-based Homeland Foods Acquisition, will transition to Apple Market stores. Apple Market is a part of the Associated Wholesale Grocers retailer-owner cooperative.

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