Varun Beverages opens Rs 550 cr plant in Punjab for PepsiCo products

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Pathankot, March 8 (IANS) PepsiCo India partner Varun Beverages Ltd (VBL) on Friday announced the start of trial production at its facility here for the bottling of PepsiCo products.

A joint PepsiCo-VBL statement said the Rs 550-crore greenfield facility was inaugurated on Friday by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

“This facility will create in-house production capacity for Tropicana fruit juices, dairy products, carbonated soft drinks, Aquafina water, Gatorade and Lipton ice tea,” it said.

“Spread over 41 acres in Pathankot district, it will be the first fully backward integrated facility in India to manufacture the complete range of Pepsico products at a single location,” the statement said.

The facility is expected to create over 5,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state, the statement added.

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Commenting on the development, PepsiCo India President and CEO Ahmed ElSheikh said in a statement: “This new facility will act as a hub to address the growing demand for our well-loved beverage portfolio among consumers in the state and beyond.”

VBL Chairman Ravi Jaipuria said: “The facility is strategically located close to target markets which will reduce time to market and enable optimisation of freight and logistics costs, aiding margin expansion.”

VBL has been associated with the US beverages major from the 1990s and also has franchise rights for various PepsiCo products for Nepal, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the statement said.

–IANS

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