PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. has opened a new food manufacturing plant in China, its sixth food plant in the region in a move to strengthen its position in a growing market.
The food and beverage company, whose brands include Lay's, Quaker Oats, Tropicana and its namesake cola, said Tuesday that the new facility will help it expand further into central and western China.
"PepsiCo has a strong and growing food and beverage business in China, and we're making investments to drive sustainable long-term growth," PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement.
The Wuhan, China, facility will have the capacity to make about 15,000 tons of Lay's potato chips a year. PepsiCo says Lay's is the top selling chip brand in China and the world's biggest food brand.
The plant is also expected to use 30 percent less water and 20 percent less energy than some of the company's other facilities in the region. This will help to lower long-term operating costs.
With sales still somewhat slow in the U.S., PepsiCo is racing to strengthen its foothold in the emerging markets that will be critical for its long-term growth.
In April the Purchase, N.Y., company received regulatory approvals to secure a stake in Tingyi Holding Corp., a drink maker based in Taiwan. The deal tripled PepsiCo's manufacturing scale in China.