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LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. -- AriZona Iced Tea here, a pioneer New Age beverage brand and one of the last independent holdouts (after SoBe was acquired by PepsiCo and Snapple became part of the extended Cadbury Schweppes family) may soon be somewhat less independent. According to industry sources, Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons – AriZona's parent company -- is in active talks with Beverage Partners Worldwide about creating an alliance.
AriZona wishes to keep its autonomy but to expand its distribution. Beverage Partners Worldwide is a 50/50 joint venture between Coca-Cola and Nestlé to tap the growth potential of emerging beverage segments, particularly ready-to-drink coffee, tea and other beverages with "healthful positioning." Should AriZona and Coca-Cola align, look for a similar relationship -- in which AriZona remains owner of the brand, but is produced, marketed and distributed in over 40 global markets by the partnership.