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Food Roundup: McDonald's Dumps Mr. Pibb, Wal-Mart Opens Supermercado, Melamine Replaced and More

Dr Pepper to join Coke products as McDonald's staple -- The burger chain is removing Coca-Cola products Mr. Pibb and Powerade from its fountain machines to make room for Dr Pepper, which will soon be available at all McDonald's nationwide. Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Hi-C Orange will stay in the fountains alongside Dr Pepper, and other Coca-Cola products will be available in bottles on a regional basis. [Sources: Chicago Tribune, AP]

Wal-Mart opens first Latino supermercado - Wal-Mart's first Latino/Hispanic-centric location opened this week in Houston. The Supermercado de Wal-Mart will carry corn tortillas and other traditional breads, tropical fruits, and meat options popular with Latinos. Wal-Mart said the Houston store is only the first of many the company plans to launch. [Source: Supermarket News]

First melamine, now leather -- A Chinese dairy company is under investigation for allegedly adding leather protein to its milk products, Chinese radio reported. Leather protein is apparently harder to detect than melamine, a chemical which many Chinese companies previously added to their dairy products in order to trick tests into registering higher protein content -- a practice that resulted in six dead infants, hundreds of thousands of illnesses and a global scandal. [Sources: Just-Food, Radio86]

Malaysia: McDonald's doesn't own "Mc" prefix -- McCurry Restaurant can keep its name, Malaysia's appeals court ruled this week, reversing an earlier decision in favor of McDonald's. McCurry serves only Indian food and uses a different color scheme than McDonald's, Judge Gopal Sri Ram said, and "McCurry's Restaurant signboard would not result in reasonable persons associating McCurry with the McDonald's mark." [Sources: Shanghai Daily, Bernama]

New food product development drops significantly -- Because of the recession, the number of new food and beverage products in the first quarter was 51 percent lower than in the same period last year, according to a Mintel study, and 32 percent lower than the last quarter of 2008. "Faced with low consumer confidence and reduced spending, many food and beverage manufacturers cut back on product development and new product launches," Mintel's Lynn Dornblaser said. [Source: FoodProcessing.com]

Venezuela takes over sugar processing plant -- The Venezuelan government has expropriated Central Azucarero Cariaco CA because the plant is failing to produce at its full potential, according to a decree by President Hugo Chavez. The plant is located in the eastern part of the country, and representatives could not be reached for comment. Chavez has not hesitated to take over companies he says act against the country's interest, and in March, he ordered the takeover of a rice mill owned by a Cargill subsidiary. [Sources: AP, BNET]

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