NEWS WATCH: MID-CALS EXHIBIT MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD PERFORMANCE: REPORT...ACOSTA APPOINTED BY ATKINS NUTRITIONALS...FIBER MARKED AS NEXT CONSUMER TREND

MID-CALS EXHIBIT MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD PERFORMANCE: REPORTr this year by Coca-Cola and Pepsi have not performed as well as the vanilla colas launched by both carbonated beverage giants in 2002 and 2003, according to a new report from investment bank Merrill Lynch here. Coke C2 gained 0.5 points of volume share and 0.9 points of dollar share for the four-week period ended Aug. 8, down from the 0.7 point

MID-CALS EXHIBIT MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD PERFORMANCE: REPORT

r this year by Coca-Cola and Pepsi have not performed as well as the vanilla colas launched by both carbonated beverage giants in 2002 and 2003, according to a new report from investment bank Merrill Lynch here. Coke C2 gained 0.5 points of volume share and 0.9 points of dollar share for the four-week period ended Aug. 8, down from the 0.7 point gain in volume share and 1.2 point gain in dollar share for the same time period in July. Pepsi Edge posted a gain of 0.3 points in both volume and dollar share for the four weeks ended Aug. 8, which represented a slight gain in volume share and a flat dollar share compared with July figures. Conversely, in their third month of availability, Vanilla Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke posted a volume share of 2.2 and 0.7, respectively, while Pepsi Vanilla and Diet Pepsi Vanilla achieved volume share of 0.7 and 0.6, respectively. The overall carbonated soft-drink category saw volume decline by 4.6% last month, compared to a drop of 7.6% in July, the report stated.

ACOSTA APPOINTED BY ATKINS NUTRITIONALS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Acosta Sales & Marketing Co. has been named the agency of record representing Atkins Nutritionals across the United States, effective Oct. 1. The appointment includes the grocery, regional mass, regional drug, and convenience store retail channels, according to officials with the national sales and marketing firm. In addition, Acosta's natural/specialty sales division will service the natural channel for ANI, which manufactures a broad range of convenience foods, supplements, baked goods, snacks, condiments and information products designed for consumers who have adopted a controlled-carbohydrate lifestyle. Acosta will service Atkins' various product offerings, including nutrition bars, shakes, supplements, cereal and candy.

FIBER MARKED AS NEXT CONSUMER TREND

NAPLES, N.Y. -- With many industry observers reporting that low-carb dieting is moderating, one research firm is predicting that fiber could be the next big food trend. According to Productscan Online, the percentage of new beverages and foods in North America making high-fiber claims increased to 4.2% in 2004 through August, after being stuck at about 2.5% each of the past four years. If the government's revised food pyramid includes an advisory panel's recommendation that people eat at least three servings of whole grain foods each day, the number of fiber-rich foods introduced could increase and pave the way for a rebound for food manufacturers such as pasta companies that have been hard hit by the low-carb diet trend, according to researchers with the new-product database firm.