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Warmer weather helped boost soft drink sales, says PepsiCo


Extended summers because of global warming are helping the soft drinks category, which historically was heavily seasonal dependent on the April-June quarter, PepsiCo India president Ahmed ELsheikh said in an exclusive interview.

“The weather has been warm beyond peak summer and this year particularly, which is helping momentum on consumer demand. Also, more electricity in villages specially, has been a big enabler for us, since more retailers and homes have cooling infrastructure now,” he told ET at the company’s headquarters in Gurgaon.

Delhi has already recorded its warmest November in six years, and temperatures in north and west have been predicted to be warmer-than-usual this winter.
“This year has been very good, after two pandemic-impacted years. We expect another strong season, penetration of soft drinks is very low so there’s huge headroom for growth, the Indian middle class is booming and despite inflation, we are holding on to crucial price points of ₹5 and ₹10 which drive volumes,” Sheikh said. The maker of Pepsi cola, Lays chips and Tropicana juice had called out India as a key growth market in its global September 2022 quarter earnings. The New York-based company said its foods unit volume grew 5% in the quarter, on the back of double-digit growth in the Middle East, India and Pakistan. In the same period ended 03 September, its beverage unit volumes grew 17% in India.
PepsiCo’s exclusive India bottling partner Varun Beverages had reported year-on-year organic volume growth of 22% in the September quarter, which it said was led by a favourable demand environment.

“We believe this is the decade of India. We are looking at how to build capabilities, availability, how to expand penetration and category innovation – by that we mean adding a new platform or creating a new category, instead of a new variant or a new scheme,” Sheikh said.


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