Business

Pepsi to invest $2.5bn in China over three years

Image caption PepsiCo Inc says it will build 19 new plants

PepsiCo Inc has announced it will invest $2.5bn (£1.72bn) in China over the next three years.

The world's second biggest drinks maker said it would open 19 new plants and install new production lines at existing facilities.

"China is a vibrant market and has decades of growth ahead of it," Chief Executive Indra Nooyi said.

Pepsi currently lags behind Coke in China, with less than half of its rival's market share.

China is seen as a critical emerging market for soft drink makers, which have experienced sluggish sales in recent years in the saturated US market.

In 2008, Coke held a 15.7% market share, with Pepsi having 7.2%, Consumer Edge Research chief Bill Pecoriello was quoted by Reuters as saying.

PepsiCo, based in Purchase, New York, plans to open plants in Fujian, Gansu, Henan, and Yunnan provinces.

The company said it also planned to create new products aimed specifically at the Asian market

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