Ocean Spray has voted against pursuing a joint venture with PepsiCo. The results of last week's referendum on the proposal were announced yesterday.

The vote, covering the 900 fruit growers which make up the cooperative, ended in 52% of Ocean Spray's growers voting against moving into final negotiations on the Pepsi joint venture.

The vote "will bring to an end a lengthy process undertaken by the board more than a year ago to explore a full range of strategic options," Ocean Spray said in a written statement.

Pepsi said it was disappointed by the vote's results, but added that "change is always difficult, especially when considering a fundamental change in how a long-standing co-op and its brand could be managed."

It is thought that the priority for Ocean Spray going forward will be a search for a distribution deal with another beverage company like Coke, Pepsi or Cadbury Schweppes Plc.