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Fifty independent bottlers have filed a lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Co. over the soft drink company’s plan to direct store deliver (DSD) Powerade directly to retailers.

As previously reported by MNB, Wal-Mart has persuaded the Coca-Cola to deliver PowerAde directly to Wal-Mart warehouses, and then distributed to the retailer’s individual stores by the retailer’s trucks. Now that the program apparently is rolling out beyond Wal-Mart, the independent bottlers are rebelling.

For the record, GatorAde – which dominates the category and is made by Coke’s arch rival Pepsi – already is delivered to Wal-Mart’s warehouses instead of through the DSD system.
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