PepsiCo Inc. is positioning itself to take advantage of the fast-growing Vietnamese consumer market by investing $250 million on manufacturing capacity and equipment in the Asian country. The investment adds to a new foods plant and beverages plant that PepsiCo recently opened in Vietnam.

The seventh-ranked IW 50 Best Manufacturer for 2010 also has made moves to provide more food and beverage options for Vietnamese consumers by introducing Tropicana Twister juice drinks, Aquafina water, Lipton ready-to-drink tea and two new isotonic drinks to the country.

"Vietnam represents one of PepsiCos most exciting growth opportunities, and this investment is a reflection of our confidence in this dynamic country and the talented people who live and work here," said Saad Abdul-Latif, CEO of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa, when announcing the move on Aug. 16.

The Purchase, N.Y., beverage and snack giant continues to build on expansion efforts in emerging markets. In May the company announced plans to invest an additional $2.5 billion to a previously announced $1 billion investment in China over the next three years. PepsiCo plans to open 10 to 12 new plants in China to manufacture soft drinks, noncarbonated beverages and snacks.

In addition, the company said it will allocate $3 million over the next three years to create the Agricultural Development Center of Peru. The center will focus on developing new varieties of potatoes and other tubers and roots to improve the company's product portfolio, PepsiCo said on Aug. 4.

The company will share the knowledge gained from the center with other PepsiCo businesses around the world, particularly those in tropical and subtropical zones similar to Peru.

"Because of Peru's biodiversity, this is the only place in the world where PepsiCo uses not only traditional white potatoes, as we do for Lay's Classic potato chips, but also different native potato varieties," said Antonio Escalona, South Andean general manager of PepsiCo Foods. "For example, here in Peru we use native Andean potatoes for Lay's Andians and the yellow potato for Lay's Peruanisimas, which makes us very proud."

PepsiCo says the center will be the company's third potato development center in the word. The other centers are located in Rhinelander, Wis., and in Europe.


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