DUBAI, UAE, September 28, 2014: PepsiCo, one of the leading food and beverage companies, today announcedthe opening of its first innovation facility in the Middle East. The facility, will serve as a hub of new products and flavors innovations for PepsiCo’s businesses across the region.
The new facility is equipped with an advanced culinary center and test laboratories focused on developing and tailoring PepsiCo food and beverage brands for distinct, locally relevant taste preferences throughout the region. The new facility will allow researchers to quickly test new product ideas and support efforts to significantly accelerate the pace of PepsiCo’s innovation across the region.
The facility is the first PepsiCo food and beverageinnovation center in the region, which is designed tocontinue PepsiCo’s efforts to unlock new opportunities for breakthrough innovation across the company’s diverse portfolio of complementary brands and enable greater speed and efficiency throughout the entire R&D and innovation process. The new Dubai facility will also work collaboratively with other PepsiCo R&D locations around the world to share insights and best practices.
“Innovation has always fueled PepsiCo’s growth engine and enabled us to build a portfolio of great-tasting, convenient food and beverage brands that are loved by consumers around the globe,” said Omar Farid, PepsiCo president for Middle East and Africa. “The Dubai facility is a game-changer for our businessthat we anticipate will fast forward our innovation process throughout the entire region.”
“PepsiCo continues to build global research and development capabilities that are differentiating our brands in the marketplace and driving attractive new growth opportunities,” saidJan Weststrate, Senior Vice President R&D PepsiCo Asia, Middle East & Africa. “This new innovation center will also allow our experts in the region to continue driving science, technology and innovation thought leadership.”
“This center will play an important role in our global R&D network by bringingcutting edge technology and innovation to our businesses in the Middle Eastand partnering with other PepsiCo locations to achieve new breakthroughs in other parts of the world,” said Amr El Hadidi, PepsiCo Middle East & Africa, Head of R&D.
The grand opening was attended today byMarwan Abdulaziz, Executive Director of the Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech),who demonstrated his support and appreciation to the opening of PepsiCo’s R&D facility in Dubai.DuBiotech is the major Life Sciences cluster in the Middle East. It is a Free Zone Business Park that provides the ultimate platform for Life Sciences companies to set up their operations and access the fast growing, emerging markets of the region.
Marwan Abdulazizsaid: “PepsiCo is one of the world’s most successful food and beverage companies in the world, and we’re proud that they are opening their facility in the Nucleotide Lab Complex of DuBiotech. Multinational companies are playing an important role in Dubai’s continued development, and we look forward to having PepsiCo as part of the fabric of the Middle East for many years to come.”
Tailoring Global Brands for Local Tastes
PepsiCo has a strong portfolio of global food and beverage brands that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. A key focus of the PepsiCo Middle East Innovation center will be tailoring these brands for regional consumer taste preferences and developing locally relevant product innovations. In recent years, PepsiCo has developed and launched in Middle Eastern markets innovations, including:
• Lay’s Forno potato chips, delicious baked potato chips that contain 60 percent less fat than regular potato chips.
• Tropicana Frutz is a Middle Eastern innovation developed for the Saudi marketwhich has blends of pure, natural fruit juices combined with a refreshing/vibrant fizz and it is now being introduced in other parts of the world as well, both within and outside the Middle East.
• Grainwaves combines the goodness of grains with the fun and great taste of chips.
• Sunbites contains more than a third of the suggested daily intake of whole grains and has 30 percent less fat than regular crisps.
Driving Growth in Emerging Markets
The Middle East is a key component of PepsiCo’s overall plan to drive growth in emerging and developing markets globally. PepsiCo nearly tripled its business in emerging and developing markets from $8 billion in annual net revenue in 2006 to $23 billion in 2013.
The opening of the new R&D center in Dubai is the latest in a series of steps which PepsiCo continues to take to strengthen its business across the Middle East.