PepsiCo, on Wednesday, commissioned its greenfield foods plant in Uttar Pradesh with an investment of Rs 814 crore. The company said the foods plant, spread over 29 acres in Uttar Pradesh, marks PepsiCo’s largest greenfield investment in manufacturing in India. The factory will cater to the growing demand for PepsiCo’s Lay’s potato chips brand.
The company said in a statement that the factory will create over 1,500 direct and indirect job opportunities in the state and announced that it intends to source 1,50,000 tonne of potatoes annually from the state. The MoU between PepsiCo and the Uttar Pradesh government was signed in July 2019.
Eugene Willemsen, CEO, Africa, Middle East, and South Asia, PepsiCo said, "India continues to be a strategic market and an engine of growth for PepsiCo in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia (AMESA) region. The plant will implement the best of what PepsiCo has to offer globally in terms of technology, sustainability & diversity, and will contribute to the State’s overall development through employment opportunities and strong agri-linkages."
The new plant comes at a time when the company is looking to aggressively grow its snacks business in India. Willemsen also said that India is a long-term strategic market for the company and its growth engine in the AMESA (Africa, Middle East, and South Asia) region. During the March to May quarter, PepsiCo’s snack unit grew 116 percent primarily led by double-digit growth in India despite the second wave.
On a global level, PepsiCo announced its new sustainability program pep+ (pep Positive), which will chart out how the company will transform its business operations: from sourcing ingredients and making and selling its products in a more sustainable way.
As part of pep+, PepsiCo will also cut virgin plastic per serving by 50 percent across its global food & beverage portfolio by 2030, using 50 percent recycled content in its plastic packaging and also incorporating more diverse ingredients in both new and existing food products that are better for the planet and/or deliver nutritional benefits, prioritising chickpeas, plant-based proteins and whole grains.
"pep+ will change our brands and how they win in the market. For example, imagine Lay's will start with a potato grown sustainably on a regenerative field, and then be cooked and delivered from a Net-Zero and Net Water Positive supply chain, sold in a bio-compostable bag, with the lowest sodium levels in the market. That's a positive choice. That's the best tasting, #1 potato chip of the future. That's how pep+ will be better for people, for the planet, and for our business. Now, imagine the scale and impact when applied to all 23 of our billion-dollar brands," Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo's chairman and CEO said in a statement.
This announcement also comes days after a Greenpeace report noted that FMCG companies including the likes of Coca-Cola, Nestle and PepsiCo are driving the expansion of plastic production, which threatens the global climate as well as communities and ecosystems around the world. The report also noted that PepsiCo uses 2.3 million metric tonnes of plastic annually.
(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)