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    Maker of Dr Pepper to Launch Flavored Milk

    PLANO, Texas - Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. plans to begin selling milk in flavors such as chocolate caramel and pina colada in March, The Associated Press reports.

    PLANO, Texas - Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc. plans to begin selling milk in flavors such as chocolate caramel and pina colada in March, The Associated Press reports. An announcement was expected Tuesday.

    Company officials began developing flavored milk about 18 months ago and tested different recipes in focus groups, according to the AP. They hope to repeat the success of new soda flavors in the staid milk business.

    "What we heard from consumers is that the milk category today is pretty boring," said Andrew Springate, director of brand marketing for Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc.

    The company has settled on five flavors, from berry to chocolate, and named the new drink Raging Cow. It will be marketed to 18- to 24-year-olds at concerts, on college campuses and the Internet. It will be sold in the dairy section of stores and in vending machines, officials said.

    The drinks, bottled by Jasper Products of Joplin, Mo., will be sold in 14-ounce plastic containers and carry a suggested retail price of $1.49. Sold cold, the drinks can be stored at room temperature for 180 days, the company said.

    The drinks will be introduced in Texas and the Midwest in March, with an expansion to the rest of the country by mid- to late-2004.

    The main competition, Springate said, figures to be Hershey's -- sold under license by Dallas-based Dean Foods Co. -- and Nestle. But industry analysts said the field is growing more crowded because other beverage companies are raiding the dairy section.

    One of the oldest chocolate drinks still on the market is Yoo-hoo, which dates to the 1920s and is owned by the Snapple Beverage Group. Snapple and Dr Pepper/Seven Up are both owned by UK-based candy and beverage giant Cadbury Schweppes plc.

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