Pepsi, Coke Get Milk

Quaker Milk Chillers roll out this week

PURCHASE, N.Y. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are continuing to expand their boundaries beyond the traditional soft drinks for which their known. Both companies have made plans to add lines of non-carbonated flavored milk beverages to their portfolio.

Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi will do so with the introduction of Quaker Milk Chillers. They're made with 2% reduced-fat milk and fortified with calcium and seven essential vitamins. Available in three flavorschocolate, strawberry and vanillaQuaker Milk Chillers hit stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United [image-nocss] States beginning this week.

"Many people want the health benefits of milk but they don't like the taste of plain milk. Quaker Milk Chillers enable them to get many of milk's nutrients in the form of a great-tasting beverage without all of the calories and sugar found in most flavored milks," said Chad Dick, director of marketing innovation, Pepsi-Cola North America. "So when it's time for a snack, we hope people will reach for Quaker Milk Chillers rather than a cookie or a candy bar."

Quaker Milk Chillers will be available in 14-ounce, single-serve plastic bottles in convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, school vending machines and select foodservice accounts. They are sweetened with a blend of natural and no-calorie sweeteners including sucrose, sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium.

They have a similar nutritional profile to plain 2% reduced fat milk and qualify for PepsiCo's "smart spot" symbol because they contain 45-50% less sugar than the leading flavored milks and are an excellent source of calcium.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Co.'s largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., said on Aug. 4 it plans to acquire a majority stake in Bravo! Foods International Corp., which makes several flavored milk beverages under the Slammers brand. Sales of flavored milks have increased from about $750 million in 1995 to $2.5 billion last year, according to Bravo!

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