By Luke Smolinski and Pan Kwan Yuk
Coca-Cola and Pepsi are known for their cheery attitudes to the world. Their slogans include: “open happiness”; “life tastes good”; “the best drink created worldwide”.
But these days, life is tasting a lot less sweet for the two drinks giants as both struggle with waning growth in key emerging markets.
It was only two paragraphs long. But the fallout from a surprise sales warning issued by Unilever last week was anything but minor.
Shares in consumer goods companies across Europe and the US all fell after Unilever warned that weak growth in emerging markets, exacerbated by currency weakness in countries from India to Indonesia and Brazil, would result in underlying sales growth of 3 to 3.5 per cent for the third-quarter. This compares with growth of 5 per cent reported during the first two quarters of the year. Read more
The president of PepsiCo India, Manu Anand, has stepped down after just two and a half years in the job.
It’s difficult to separate the news from the company’s unfortunate decision to shell out millions of dollars to associate itself with the scandal-hit Indian Premier League (IPL). Read more
Twelve days, five hours, and however many minutes and seconds – the Indian Premier League’s official website is counting down until the start of the annual cricket tournament. As are the people of India.
It’s a national obsession that multinationals have cottoned onto and despite the economic gloom, corporates are still spending big bucks on IPL sponsorship. Read more
How goes the health of the world’s most lucrative cricket tournament? Bubbly, at least if Pepsi’s decision to spend $72m to become the Indian Premier League’s “title” sponsor for the next five years is any indication. Read more
Thailand’s cola market has turned aggressive as the three big industry players get all fizzed up about a fourth drink on the block. With an eye on the proposed dismantling of regional trade barriers by late 2015 under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community, the race is on to gain pole position in the country’s large and growing soft drinks market. Read more
By Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
More than 30 years ago, PepsiCo was one of the first American companies to enter China. My first visit here as a PepsiCo executive came in the mid-1990s, shortly after PepsiCo Foods introduced Lay’s potato chips to the Chinese market. One image that I will never forget, shortly after the launch, is the sight of dozens of people on city streets eating those chips—using chopsticks. Read more
News that authorities have detained several people suspected of carrying out fire-bomb attacks on a Mexican subsidiary of PepsiCo will doubtless come as a relief to the company and to the wider community of international investors in Mexico.
But it won’t do much to answer the concern swirling through Mexican business circles: does the attack mark a worrying change in Mexico’s drugs war? Read more
While investors in Russia have been complaining recently that the “country is going down the toilet” and that Vladimir Putin “is in la la land on the budget”, there are some groups that seem to be perfectly content about the country’s political and fiscal direction. Take for instance Pepsico.
Over the last decade, the company has invested $19bn in Russia, thanks to a close working relationship with the Kremlin leadership. And over the next two years, under Putin’s leadership, the company will invest an additional $1bn more, Indra Nooyi, Pepsico’s chief executive, said in Moscow on Monday after a meeting between Putin and global business leaders. Read more