Coke in sweetener deal with Chromocell

DETROIT (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co KO.N plans to collaborate with Chromocell Corp on the development of sweeteners and other flavor ingredients for use in its drinks, the companies said on Friday.

Under terms of the deal, signed four months after its former partner for flavor development signed with rival PepsiCo Inc PEP.N, Coke will have worldwide exclusive rights for the use of all flavors, sweeteners and enhancers in all nonalcoholic ready-to-drink categories.

While financial terms were not disclosed, the companies said privately held Chromocell will receive research funding and royalty payments based on the sales of products that use sweeteners and other ingredients developed during the collaboration.

“This collaboration with Chromocell will help us build a robust pipeline ... across categories and sweetness options,” Bilal Kaafarani, Coke’s senior vice president of global research and innovation, said in a statement.

Chromocell Chief Executive Christian Kopfli said his company will work with Coke to develop zero- and reduced-calorie beverages.

In August, Senomyx Inc SNMX.O, two months after breaking ties with long-standing partner Coke, signed a four-year deal with PepsiCo to develop sweeteners for the food and beverage giant.

Coke shares were down 44 cents at $64.39 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Derek Caney