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    Supplier Briefs

    News from the industry's leading manufacturers including McLane, Snapple, Coca-Cola and Pinnacle.

    NEW YORK
    Technology
    The Pinnacle Corp. announced that it has partnered with Simmons to facilitate the direct feed of petroleum storage tank data into FuelSmart, Pinnacle's industry-leading and award winning petroleum accounting software. "Petroleum marketers constantly must make immediate purchasing, planning and pricing decisions," said Pinnacle President Bob Johnson. "This advance allows FuelSmart users to make these decisions and manage their fuel business using fresh data directly within our application. Because Simmons' tank monitoring services work with the all the major equipment suppliers, teaming with them to feed this data into FuelSmart allows us to provide this capability to customers regardless of the hardware they use."

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    Chicago-based eMac Digital LLC announced the acquisition of Apigent Solutions, a provider of site and enterprise operations management technologies for the foodservice and retail industries. eMac Digital will support Apigent's existing customer base, while offering Apigent-branded products and services to multi-unit restaurant and retail operators.

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    Retek Inc. has acquired the assets of Chelsea Market Systems, L.L.C. in a cash transaction. Chelsea is a developer and marketer of a flexible, scalable thin-client Java point-of-sale solution. The acquisition of Chelsea enhances Retek's store systems offering with a proven, mission-critical point-of-sale application. Retek will market the Chelsea product as Retek Point-of-Service (RPOS).

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    The viaLink Co. a leading provider of synchronization and scan based trading services to the food, retail and foodservice industries, signed a new group of suppliers that includes Hallmark Cards, Cherokee Distributing, Ferrero USA, Natural Ovens Bakery, Alfred J. Nickles Bakery, Northeast Beverage and Stokes Distributing.

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    With the goal of helping retail enterprises significantly decrease the store planning and development lifecycle, e-Builder announced its Web-based program management solution, Retail Development Manager. It streamlines processes such as site selection, lease negotiation, design and construction, allowing stores to open quicker and start making money earlier than expected. Companies such as Publix Supermarkets, America Online and Boeing currently use the product.

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    Aspen Technology Inc., has agreed to acquire Hyprotech Ltd., a leading supplier of process simulation and engineering software and services to the petroleum industry. AspenTech has long been a supplier of process simulation and engineering solutions to the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries. By combining the companies' best-in-class technologies, resources, and domain expertise, AspenTech will become the strategic provider of process simulation and engineering software across the major process industry market segments.

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    Intelligent Controls Inc. (INCON), manufacturer of electronic instruments and measurement systems for utility equipment monitoring, announced new hydroelectric monitoring and automation functions for its Model 1511 programmable process monitor. Among other capabilities, the Model 1511 can be used in applications for level monitoring, flow measurements, volume calculations or signal conversions.

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    TCI Solutions (TCI), a leading supplier of integrated enterprise-wide software solutions for the retail industry, has announced the selection of Sweda Canada Inc. as its new sales and support business partner in Canada.


    Marketing and Merchandising
    Excell Marketing, a distributor of trading cards, collectibles and gaming products was recently awarded the 2001 Vendor Award of Excellence by Target Stores. This is the second time in the last three years that Excell has won. The award is given each year to a select group of Target's vendors "for their superior business practices and their exceptional commitment to Target's success."

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    The IMRA Foundation's First Annual Golf Classic netted nearly $45,000, elevating industry support to nearly $160,000 since its launch in May 2001. The Golf Classic took place May 18 at the Osprey Ridge Golf Course in Orlando, Fla. The event was held in conjunction with the International Mass Retail Association's Annual Convention and Business Development Forum, May 19-22, in Orlando. The golf tournament attracted 85 retailer and supplier participants and featured a raffle that raised $1,500 for prizes donated by the event's sponsoring companies.

    Distribution and Wholesale
    McLane Co. Inc., a Temple, Texas-based food logistics company, announced that its newest grocery division, McLane Minnesota, has begun shipping and receiving product. McLane Minnesota is the 19th facility in the Grocery Distribution business unit. McLane, the leading distributor to the convenience store and petroleum industry, previously announced that it had purchased the Fairway Foods facility located in Northfield, Minnesota.

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    Fleming Co. , the number-two U.S. grocery supplies distributor, said first-quarter earnings rose nearly 60 percent as newly acquired businesses and costs savings helped results. Fleming, whose business has dogged by the bankruptcy filing of its discount chain customer Kmart Corp. , said net income rose to $24.6 million from $15.5 million a year earlier. Looking ahead, Fleming said it would record charges of about $25 million in the second quarter related to pending acquisitions, but it raised its earnings outlook for 2003.

    Food and Beverage
    Tradewinds Beverage Co. has reached a deal with McLane to distribute its products where its DSD network does not extend. Founded over a decade ago on the concept of providing classic refreshment without frill or gimmicks, Tradewinds represents a solid and sustainable growth opportunity in the noncarbonated alternative section just as it does at many conveniences store chains including Shell Oil Products U.S., Sheetz Inc. and Kum & Go.

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    The Coca-Cola Co. signed a definitive agreement with Diageo and Pernod Ricard to acquire the Seagram's Mixers business and with Pernod Ricard for a worldwide long-term license agreement that will add Seagram's well-known brand of mixers, including Ginger Ale, Tonic, Club Soda and Seltzer, to the Company's growing family of non-alcoholic beverages. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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    Welch's and Dr Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Group have entered into a strategic alliance to increase distribution capacity and to meet customer and consumer needs. By partnering with Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Welch's will build a stronger presence and expand distribution in 21 states across the country.

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    The Snapple Beverage Group has relaunched its Web site to include a virtual town online called Snappleton. "Snappleton is the ultimate community -- complete with a museum, cinema, post office, newsstand, info-center, travel center and of course a convenience store," said Lewis Goldstein, director of communications, for Snapple Beverage Group.

    The site was designed by iDeutsch, the interactive unit of Deutsch Inc. -- a full-service integrated marketing and communications company. Deutsch handles all advertising promotions, public relations and Internet activities on behalf of Snapple. The Snappleton website is one component of Snapple's quirky, integrated campaign for 2002, the company said.

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    Pete's Brewing Co. said it would launch the "Live the Wicked Nightlife" sales promotion this summer to promote its flagship Pete's Wicked Ale beer brand. Throughout July and August, consumers will get a taste of the "Wicked" nightlife with Pete's full array of engaging in-store point-of-sale materials, including counter-cards, table tents and banners. The promotion also includes a drawing for a Las Vegas vacation at the Palms Casino Resort. The sweepstakes winner and three guests will enjoy suite accommodations, limo transportation, spa treatments, entertainment and a rooftop party at the Palms' Ghost Bar.

    Product News
    Sweetheart Cup Co. Inc., the largest manufacturer of single-use food service disposables in North America, and EarthShell Corp., innovators of food service packaging designed with the environment in mind, signed a letter of intent providing the basis for Sweetheart to be the primary supplier of EarthShell Packaging in North America.

    Under the contemplated transaction EarthShell would provide an exclusive royalty bearing license to Sweetheart for the first $500 million of annual sales of EarthShell Packaging sandwich containers, cups, plates and bowls for the North American institutional and consumer markets.

    People News
    The Network of Executive Women: Consumer Products & Food Retail Industry (NEW) honored Don Knauss, president and CEO of Minute Maid Americas, with the NEW Outstanding Champion Award at its First-Year Anniversary Reception May 6 at the Food Marketing Institute's Show in Chicago. Knauss was NEW's founding champion and has continued to be a strong supporter of the network and of workplace diversity.

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    Hypercom Corp. Chairman and Chief Strategist George Wallner awarded Hypercom's 2002 Industry Lifetime Achievement Award to Henry C. "Ric" Duques, Chairman of First Data Corp., for his contributions to the advancement of the global transaction automation industry. Under Duques' leadership, First Data has become a global powerhouse in electronic commerce and payment services, with a market capitalization of more than $30 billion, compared to $3.8 billion in 1992, the year it was first established as an independent, publicly traded company. In addition to his duties as Chairman of First Data, Mr. Duques is also the Chairman of eONE Global, LP, a leader in emerging payment technologies for Internet and wireless applications.

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