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• In New Jersey, the Courier-Post reports that Ahold-owned Stop & Shop is preparing to sell nine stores that it has decided are “underperforming” to Wakefern Food Corp. Neither retailer is commenting on the deal for the record.

• Published reports say that unionized employees at Kroger stores in Dallas and Houston have ratified a new three-year contract that both sides say gives 13,000 workers wage increases, increased vacation and affordable health care.

Advertising Age reports that PepsiCo plans to spend as much as $55 million launching a new brand - Diet Pepsi Max, described as “a cross between a soft drink and an energy drink to rouse men out of that 2 p.m. slump.” The company reportedly is looking to “crack the code” and get men to drink more diet drinks.

According to the story, “The ‘invigorating’ cola contains ginseng and 46 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces, double that of regular Diet Pepsi but a third the stimulant level in coffee or energy drinks.”

• Wendy’s International, which is considering selling the company, is going ahead with plans to sell more breakfasts. The company says that it plans to have a new breakfast menu available in some 650 stores by Labor Day, up from the 160 units where it has been testing the expanded menu.

The Washington Post reports that Wendy’s believes that new breakfast sales could add between $75 million and $95 million to the chain’s annual operating profit.
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