Filipinos’ sweet tooth expected to boost Pepsi sales | Inquirer Business

Filipinos’ sweet tooth expected to boost Pepsi sales

MANILA, Philippines—Beverage giant Pepsi Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) is banking on the Filipino consumer’s sweet tooth and the country’s booming economy to continue to boost sales this year.

The company on Friday said it would sustain investments in the Philippines to continue to expand its manufacturing and distribution capabilities in order to compete with more established players.

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For 2014, the company said, it will invest as much as $90 million or close to P4 billion. Last year’s investment totaled P4.2 billion.

The firm’s performance in the first quarter was “less than impressive,” its management said, noting that profits fell by nearly half as stiffer competition drove down margins and offset the effect of higher sales.

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But PCPPI’s newly appointed president Furqan Ahmed Syed remained optimistic, citing ample room for growth in the Philippine market.

“Based on the economic environment, we remain encouraged by our prospects,” Syed said at the sidelines of PCPPI’s annual shareholders meeting Friday.

He noted that per capita bottled beverage consumption in the country was still around 200 servings a year. In countries like the United States, the average person consumes about 1,000 per year.

“We can continue to grow the per capita consumption in the coming years,” Syed said.

He admitted that consumption patterns in different countries varied and were not always dependent on income levels.

He said per capita consumption in a country like the Philippines could be closer to that of the United States, despite the significant difference in income levels.

The country’s hot climate and the Filipino consumer’s sweet tooth, Syed said, made the Philippines an ideal market for PCPPI, which sells soda, bottled iced tea, and health and energy drinks.

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TAGS: Earnings, Food and Beverage, Investments, Pepsi-Cola, Philippines, soft drinks
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