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Upbeat PepsiCo ups output capacity at Thai unit

Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading, the local producer and distributor of PepsiCo's global beverage and snack brands, has increased production capacity to meet growing demand for its products, with the US-based parent seeing Thailand as a high-potential market with a positive business outlook in the long run.

The three additional production lines at PepsiCo's beverage plant in Amata City Industrial Estate will increase its maximum beverage production capacity by 81 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Industry Ministry-approved second snacks plant at Rojana Industrial Park will add a maximum of 22,000 tonnes per annum to PepsiCo's existing snacks capacity, a 49-per-cent increase over the previous maximum.

The combined capacity increases will strengthen the company's competitiveness in the Bt72-billion carbonated-soft-drinks and salty-snack markets in Thailand.

Surakiart Sathirathai, chairman of Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading, said: "Thailand remains a highly significant country for PepsiCo. Home to one of its single-largest beverage plants in the world, Thailand is a growth engine of PepsiCo's Asia-Pacific business.

"The company's previously announced three-year Bt18.4-billion investment programme in Thailand [fiscal years 2012-2015] is now in full gear as PepsiCo's successful milestones in the country pile up.

"Increasing demand is foreseen as a result of the positive outlook in the long run. The company has therefore increased its production capacity both by advancing additional production lines for its beverage plant at the Amata City Industrial Estate and adding a second snack plant at Rojana Industrial Park. We are grateful that the latter was recently granted permission by the Industry Ministry on August 1."

Jagrut Kotecha, general manager - beverages for Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading, added that besides the five production lines at PepsiCo's beverage plant in Amata City Industrial Estate that represented its first phase of production, two of the three additional lines had been running since the second quarter of this year, ahead of plan.

The last is scheduled to commence operation at the beginning of next year.

Adding these three new lines to the first five production lines will increase the plant's production capacity by 81 per cent.

Nationwide penetration

Apart from raising production capacity, the Thai unit recently achieved nationwide sales and distribution reach thanks to the partnership with global logistics service provider DHL and local distributors, who ensure national penetration of its product portfolio, said Jagrut.

Furthermore, putting more investment in technologies that support sales and communications, such as handheld devices, GPS, teleconference systems and digital score boards, as well as continuous training to all direct and indirect employees, has ensured the company's efficiency in these areas and resulted in a highly positive market response, he added.

"In addition, as part of our previously announced investment programme, Pepsi has undertaken significant marketing investments of over Bt900 million following the launch of the company-owned bottling operation to continue building its strong portfolio of brands and engagement with consumers," said the GM.

Regarding the food business, Mookda Pairatchavet, general manager - food for Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading, said that foreseeing rising demand, as part of the company's previously announced investment programme, the company is investing Bt2.387 billion to add the second snack plant at Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya province, to join the existing plant in Lamphun province.

The 50-rai (8 hectare) facility is scheduled to be completed next year.


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