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Pepsi's packaging blitz

August was a one-month promotion period featuring two special packages from Pepsi-Cola Co. In convenience stores and gas marts nationwide, the Somers, NY-based firm launched 16-oz "Slam Cans" of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Mountain Dew.

Featuring "radical new package graphics" and 4 oz more than standard cans of soft drinks the cans sold for about $1.00 from coolers and ice barrels. According to a Pepsi spokesman the cans were aimed at generating impulse buys at point of purchase in the still growing single-serve beverage niche. AmericanNational Can (Chicago IL) produced most of the cans for Pepsi. The other special promo pack aimed at supermarket retailers rather than convenience stores was a 30-can "Block Party" multipack rolled out along with Time Warner in a one-month back-to-school promotion offering an array of entertainment and educational products. Pepsi relied on Riverwood Intl. (Atlanta GA) for both the multipack itself and the multipacking equipment. Separately Pepsi also announced that it's getting set to test two new multipack innovations. In supermarkets throughout San Antonio TX Pepsi will test its new "Zip Pack" an easy-to-carry eight-pack of 20-oz "Quick Slam" bottles held together with flexible plastic that quickly "unzips" when its built-in loop is pulled. The Zip Pack is provided by ITW Hi-Cone (Itasca IL) and Pepsi is the first to use it commercially. Finally in BJ's and Costco club stores throughout Massachusetts Pepsi will test a new 36-can multipack that the firm believes is the biggest paperboard multipack in the soft drink industry. The new multipack contains 36 cans of 12-oz Pepsi stacked in double-decker fashion with one level of 18 upright cans (three across by six deep) on top of another.

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