» KIC Products merges with Clean Team Co.
KIC Products, a manufacturer of cleaning cards, has merged with Clean Team Co., a developer and manufacturer of technical cleaning products, to become KICTeam. KICTeam will continue to work from Auburn, Me. and San Diego, Calif., with Auburn serving as its headquarters.
» Feds investigate dairy price fixing charges
Federal officials are investigating allegations that Dairy Farmers of America manipulated dairy prices, according to The Wall Street Journal. The cooperative also faces antitrust lawsuits by farmers and retailers alleging it conspired to suppress prices it paid for raw milk in the Southeast while raising prices to the region's retailers.
» Four more vendors join SPIO Media Network
The SPIO Media Network, a direct-to-consumer marketing system that dispenses redeemable coupons through vending machines, recently named four more vending operators to its network: PGI Services Inc., with branches Salt Lake City, Utah, Chicago, Ill. and Orlando, Fla.; Cambelback Vending of Phoenix, Ariz.; Ace Vending in Tempe, Ariz.; and Bayco Vending Inc., based in San Francisco, Calif.
» Joe Ragan's Family of Companies acquires packaging company
Joe Ragan's Family of Companies, the Springfield, Va.-based provider of coffee service, bottled water service, office supplies, office furniture and packaging services, recently acquired the assets of Alliance Packaging Inc., also of Springfield, from owners Larry Pullen and Dale Quakenbush, for an undisclosed sum.
Joe Ragan's Family of Companies incorporated the packaging company into its existing packaging business, of which Quakenbush is now the president, according to Joe Ragan, founder and co-owner. Pullen is no longer involved with the company. Ragan said seven of Alliance Packaging's 15 employees have been retained.
» PJ's Coffee franchisees acquire roasting and franchising operations
PJ's Coffee of New Orleans, La. was recently acquired by New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew - the largest existing franchisees of PJ's Coffee of New Orleans. The new owners plan to expand the roasting and franchise operations of the company. The Ballard family - Paul, Steven and Scotty, along with a group of New Orleans business leaders had previously purchased PJ's Coffee from Raving Brands of Atlanta, Ga.
» Rudy Nutrition, Inc. signs distributor for Indiana, lower Michigan
Rudy Nutrition, Inc. announced the addition of Corner Wholesale, Inc., Granger Ind., to its national team of sales representatives and distributors. A category specialist serving the convenience store and small business industries, Corner Wholesale has begun marketing Rudy Nutrition's healthier alternative “Rudy” branded beverage products throughout the territories of Indiana and lower Michigan.
» Pepsi Cola bottlers form new association
A group of Pepsi Cola bottlers have formed a new group called the Independent Bottlers Association (IBA), according to Beverage Digest, a beverage industry newsletter. One member said the group has more than 60 bottler members, which would make it the largest Pepsi bottler organization. The member said most bottlers joining IBA will leave an existing association, the Pepsi-Cola Bottler Association.
» Caribou Coffee Co. wins coffee tasting contest at specialty coffee convention
Caribou Coffee Co. recently won the Roasters Guild 2008 Roasters Choice Tasting Competition at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's (SCAA) 20th annual conference and exhibition held recently in Minneapolis, Minn.
» MEI extends its $5 trade-in program to July 15
MEI has extended its offer to help operators update their machines. Now through July 15, operators can trade in their existing bill validators for a credit toward the purchase of the latest MEI Series 2000 flash-programmable validators, which are already equipped to accept the new bill. The flash program feature enables fast, one-step software changes.
Operators get a $40 credit for replacing non-Flash MEI Series 2000 validators and a $20 credit for replacing other MEI and non-MEI validators. Operators can trade in bill validators through their local MEI distributor. For a full list of MEI distributors, visit www.meigroup.com.