UPDATE 1-Jamba, Nestle to launch energy drinks in early 2011

Tue Oct 5, 2010 9:40am EDT

* Both cos exploring opportunities to extend Jamba brand

* Jamba shares up 11 pct

Oct 5 (Reuters) - Nestle (NESN.VX), the world's biggest food group, and the Jamba Juice Co are close to renewing a partnership to develop a new line of energy beverages, the companies said on Tuesday.

Shares of Jamba Inc (JMBA.O), the holding company of Jamba Juice, rose 11 percent to $2.27 in early morning trade on Nasdaq. The stock has gained about 5 percent in value since the company reported quarterly results in August.

The ready-to-drink beverages, which will be available in pomegranate blueberry, strawberry banana and crisp apple flavors, will be available for retail sale in the northeastern region of the United States in early 2011, the companies said.

Nestle USA and Jamba Juice, which sells natural smoothies, juices and hot oatmeal, are exploring a number of other joint opportunities to extend the Jamba brand, the companies said. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)

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