McDonald's ends Pepsi test in win for Coke

LOS ANGELES Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:14pm EST

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LOS ANGELES Feb 27 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) said on Friday it ended test sales of PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) bottled beverages in its eateries in a win for the hamburger chain's fountain-drink supplier Coca-Cola Co (KO.N).

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, it sold PepsiCo's Mountain Dew and Gatorade drinks.

"After a test of Pepsi products in several U.S. markets we have decided that they will not be included in our National Beverage Strategy," McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said in a statement.

"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.

"We are pleased with McDonald's decision and with our partnership. We remain focused on delivering the best brands, service, ideas and programs to help grow our mutual businesses for the long term," Coca-Cola spokesman Ray Crockett said in a statement.

A PepsiCo spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

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)

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