Girls pose with Lay's potato chips, a PepsiCo product. (Photo/Chang Shu-ting)
PepsiCo plans to develop foods for the Chinese markets to appeal to local tastes as the country is set to become the world's largest market in the next ten years, says the company's CEO Indira K Nooyi.
Nooyi made the remarks while opening a food factory in Wuhan in the central China province of Hubei earlier this week. The factory, with a floor area of 25,000 square meters and a capacity of 15,000 tons of potato chips a year, is the group's sixth factory in the Greater China region.
The opening of the factory is part of PepsiCo's aggressive attempts to explore markets in interior regions of China, where many people have never seen potato chips before.
Nooyi said her group will invest US$2.5 billion in China over the next three years, part of which will go towards the establishment of a research center in Shanghai to develop snacks with Chinese flavors. The company is developing a potato chip with a braised pork flavor and instant oatmeal which tastes like a Chinese herbal medicine.
Tim Minges, chairman of Pepsi China, says there is great potential in the Chinese market as local people's consumption of potato chips is about one fifteenth of Americans', and their consumption of carbonated beverages was one seventh that of US consumers.
In addition to manufacturing food which caters to Chinese tastes, PepsiCo will also increase its advertising budget and work with the country's agriculture ministry to encourage sustainable agriculture. The company now operates eight farms in China that plant potatoes using a water-saving irrigation system and other advanced technologies.