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PepsiCo Looks To Claim An Early Stake In Myanmar

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 2:25pm
Gale Fiege, The Daily Herald

NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. will start selling its drinks in Myanmar, following the U.S. government's decision to suspend investment sanctions on the country for its democratic reforms.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company said Thursday that it signed an agreement with Diamond Star Co. Ltd. to distribute three of its soda brands — Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up and Mirinda — in the country, which until last year was ruled by a military junta. Mirinda is a line of fruit-flavored sodas.

PepsiCo last did business in the Southeast Asian nation 15 years ago.

The drinks, which were made available recent weeks, are being imported by Diamond Star from Vietnam. PepsiCo said it's looking into the possibility of setting up local manufacturing operations in the former British colony as well.

The Coca-Cola Co., based in Atlanta, also said in June that it planned to start selling drinks in Myanmar. As the soft drink market weakens in the North America and Europe, Coke and Pepsi have been racing to establish early footholds in emerging markets such as China and India, where the potential for growth is far greater.

In the past five years, PepsiCo's revenue from developing and emerging markets has nearly tripled.

Diamond Star has been doing business in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, for nearly 50 years. The company has already started an outdoor ad campaign for PepsiCo drinks.

PepsiCo says it's also reviewing whether to invest in agricultural development projects in Myanmar; the company works with of local farmers around the world to produce ingredients for its products, which include Frito-Lay chips and Quaker Oats.

PepsiCo shares slipped 47 cents to $72.10 in midday trading.

 

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