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Crush Soft Drink To Become More Widely Available

Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Pepsi Bottling Group have reached an agreement in which theĀ bottler will have a perpetual license to make and distribute the fruit-flavored drink.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. said Thursday they would make fruit-flavored Crush soft drinks more widely available.

Under the agreement, the Somers, N.Y.-based Pepsi bottler will have a perpetual license to make and distribute the brand. Crush flavors include orange and grape. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Distribution will begin in early 2009, and the deal nearly doubles the brand's market penetration to 80 percent of PBG's territory.

Dr Pepper Snapple is based in Plano, Texas, and has brands such as 7UP, Canada Dry, Squirt and Penafiel.

Sales of soft drinks in the U.S. has been falling as consumers look for healthier alternatives.

Shares of PBG fell 50 cents to $29.54 while Dr Pepper Snapple lost 29 cents to $23.70 in morning trading.

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