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Nestle to Sell Jamba Juice in Grocery Stores

Jamba said it is partnering with Nestle USA to sell bottled smoothies and juice drinks at U.S. grocery stores, sending the company's shares up 28 percent.

Jamba shares were up more than 19 percent on the Nasdaq.

Jamba, which operates the Jamba Juice chain, said the bottled drinks will go on sale in the second quarter of 2008.

Jamba told Reuters in March that it was looking to add a bottled drink to its product line and that it was in talks with a major food and beverage company to distribute it.

Nestle USA is a unit of Nestle, the world's largest food and beverage company.

The deal will be Jamba's first venture beyond its own retail stores where its drinks had been sold exclusively.

"We've always felt the Jamba Juice brand was highly extendable," Chief Executive Paul Clayton told the Wall Street Journal. "It was just a matter of us finding the right partner."

Two types of Jamba's fruit drinks will be sold in supermarkets in California, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and Colorado starting in the second quarter next year, the Journal said.

Rob Case, president of Nestle USA's beverage division, told the Journal the deal will be expanded to other states and into new channels, like convenience stores.

Nestle USA, a unit of Nestle, will manufacture and distribute the drinks, the Journal said, adding it may eventually sell Jamba Juice drinks in other countries.

Representatives of both companies could not immediately be reached for comment.

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