Portland-based Columbia Distributing Company has won the franchise for Dr Pepper/Seven Up and its soft drinks brands in those portions of Oregon, Washington and Idaho where the former Portland Bottling Company previously handled the brands.
The Portland Bottling Company went bankrupt in mid-December.

"We have an existing business relationship with Columbia Distributing Company, which handles the Snapple and Stewart's beverage lines, so it is a logical choice to receive the franchises available for our other brands," said Jim Johnston, Dr Pepper/Seven Up senior vice president-franchising.

The bankruptcy of Portland Bottling Company created temporary shortages of DR Pepper/Seven Up brands, said the company. But products from adjacent regions were used to fill as many store shelves as possible.

"To say this situation was less than ideal would be a gross understatement," said Johnston.

"Regrettably, we have many loyal consumers of our products who were inconvenienced because of the void. Happily, the long-term viability of Columbia Distributing Company should guarantee that a similar situation never occurs again. A reliable route-to-market for our products guarantees availability in the marketplace and freedom of choice for consumers."

"This is an excellent opportunity for Columbia Distributing Company and our 1,200 employees to quickly get these products back in the hands of loyal consumers. We look forward to our partnership with Dr Pepper/Seven Up so together we may begin growing these brands throughout the Pacific Northwest," said Ed Maletis, Columbia Distributing Company chief executive officer.