McDonald's ends Pepsi test in win for Coke

Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:33pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp said on Friday it ended test sales of PepsiCo Inc bottled beverages in its eateries in a win for the hamburger chain's fountain-drink supplier Coca-Cola Co.

The world's biggest fast-food restaurant operator is working to increase drink sales and for two years has been testing a variety of different beverages in select U.S. outlets. As part of that test, McDonald's sold PepsiCo's Mountain Dew, Gatorade and Lipton bottled tea drinks in three markets.

"It was a great experience that came to an amicable end last summer. As it turned out in testing, the opportunity was not as large as we'd anticipated," PepsiCo spokesman Larry Jabbonsky said.

McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said the company would continue testing drink products.

"We continue to work with other national and regional beverage companies -- including Coca-Cola -- to identify a variety of fountain and bottled beverage options that will meet our customers' preferences for taste, value and convenience," Proud said.

Coca-Cola spokesman Ray Crockett said in a statement that the company was pleased.

McDonald's is Coca-Cola's largest customer, he said.

Shares in Coke finished down 0.5 percent at $40.85 while PepsiCo shares lost 2.6 percent to close at $48.14.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein and Martinne Geller; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

 
<p>A child has a drink at a McDonald's outlet in Beijing February 5, 2009. REUTERS/Grace Liang</p>