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Pepsi to distribute Gatorade straight to stores

NEW YORK (Reuters) - PepsiCo plans to distribute its Gatorade sports drink directly to convenience stores and other retailers as part of its plan to improve product delivery following the acquisition of some of its bottlers.Pepsi expects the direct-to-store delivery changes through its own and independent bottlers to become effective on Jan 1. The change, which Beverage Digest estimates accounts for some 25 percent of total Gatorade volume, also affects dollar stores, gas station shops and other "up-and-down the street" accounts.The company said Wednesday the savings from this new distribution route for Gatorade are part of its $400 million pretax annualized cost savings target it said it would achieve from the bottler acquisitions once they are fully integrated in 2012.PepsiCo brands that are first delivered to warehouses -- including Tropicana, Quaker and Naked Juice -- will not be affected by this change, the company said.Last year, PepsiCo Inc agreed to buy bottlers Pepsi Bottling ...

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