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PepsiCo reaches final round of merger agreements with Pepsi Bottling Group, PepsiAmericas

BY Anna Mcgrath

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo announced it has almost completed the merger agreements with The Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock it does not already own in its two largest anchor bottlers.

PepsiCo will be acquiring approximately $7.8 billion total value of shares and will create one of the largest food and beverage companies globally. Due to higher cost efficiency and improved revenue opportunities, the company combination  will create annual pre-tax synergies of $300 million by 2012.

“Over the past nine years, PepsiAmericas and each of our employees have helped build a remarkable organization. The success we have achieved is reflected in the agreement reached with PepsiCo. This agreement provides great value to our shareholders and an opportunity for them to participate in the unique potential of this combination. Bringing together these three great companies is bold and strategically innovative, and will create a system unmatched in our industry,” said PepsiAmericas chairman and CEO Robert C. Pohlad.

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Some phosphate-free dish detergents work, Consumer Reports finds

BY Allison Cerra

YONKERS, N.Y. Consumer Reports this month named four low-phosphate dishwasher detergents as “recommended products” in its latest tests.

Consumer Reports tested 24 low- or no-phosphate dish detergents and found that Finish Quantum (30 cents per load) topped the ratings, followed by Finish powerball tabs (22 cents per load), which was named “CR best buy,” and scored excellent for dishes and pots, besting some detergents that cost more. Additionally, Cascade Complete all-in-one (28 cents per load) and Cascade with Dawn ActionPacs (23 cents per load) earned a score of very good in CR’s tests.

Past tests found that some low-phosphate products performed the worst overall, but the newest formulations are worth a try, CR said. Other insights in the latest Consumer Reports tests included:

  • Bleach made little difference: Most of the top performers have no bleach, and it didn’t seem to act on baked-on soils. Bleach might help though with tea or similar stains
  • Enzymes might help: Most of the tested detergents have enzymes, which can break up food for easier removal
  • Types might not be a tipoff: Tablets and pacs tended to score high and gels low, but it’s too soon to say whether that trend will continu
  • Quantumatic isn’t worth the price: At $10 (44 cents per load) for the dispenser and first cartridge, Finish Quantumatic dispenses 12 doses of detergent from a cartridge automatically. It performed well, but takes up space in the dishwasher and is less effective than other products that cost less.

Consumer Reports explained that many manufacturers have reformulated their dishwashing products as many U.S. states limited phosphorus in dishwasher detergents to 0.5%, when products previously could contain up to 8.7%. Phosphorus in the form of phosphates help dishwasher detergents clean but also boost algae growth in freshwater, threatening other plants and fish. Soaps for washing dishes by hand are phosphate-free, and phosphates have been limited in laundry detergents since 1994, CR said.

More information on phosphate-free detergents can be found in the September issue of Consumer Reports, available on newsstands Aug. 3 and online at ConsumerReports.org.

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Sun Shower organic iced coffee offers consumers a tasty source of nutrition

BY Anna Mcgrath

ORLANDO, Fla. Sun Shower introduces its new organic iced coffee flavor to it Sun Shower Super Blends line of coffee and tea beverages.

“People love the taste of organic Sun Shower Iced Coffee.  They feel there is nothing like it on the market today and say they would buy it. What more could you want from a new product?” said Chris New, founder, chairman and CEO of NBI Juiceworks, which produces and distributes Sun Shower brand products.  “Sun Shower organic iced coffee provides an excellent source of powerful antioxidants and is the perfect combination of taste and fortified nutrition.  It’s a great alternative to run-of-the-mill, high calorie, poor nutrition, organic and non-organic coffee and tea drinks that are offered in stores today.”

Sun Shower Super Blends organic iced coffee provides consumers with a nutritional package which includes protein, vitamins A and E, zinc, calcium and magnesium but without the sugar or preservatives.

Sun Shower products can be found in the produce and chilled dairy/juice section of major retailers.

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