By Ricardo Lopez
11:33 AM PST, January 24, 2014
PepsiCo Inc. announced plans Friday to invest $5 billion to expand in Mexico over the next five years, a move that will boost its production capacity and add 4,000 new jobs to the country's economy.
The beverage and snack maker said Mexico is "one of the most attractive markets in Latin America, with a growing middle class and numerous opportunities for long-term economic growth."
The New York-based company has been investing aggressively in recent years to strengthen its business in emerging markets. In 2012, those growing markets accounted for 35% of the company's net revenue.
"The investments we've made to bolster our position in key markets around the world are fueling our success," said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's chief executive, in a statement.
Part of the $5-billion investment will go toward expanding production lines and bolstering research and development efforts at its so-called Global Baking Category Innovation Center in Monterrey, Mexico. PepsiCo said those research efforts would aim to tailor its products to Mexican consumers.
It's unclear if the company intends to bolster its beverage business in Mexico, where rival Coca-Cola Co. has a stronghold.
In Mexico, whose per capita consumption of carbonated drinks is the highest in the world, Coca-Cola has 71% of the market, according to Beverage Digest, compared with Pepsi's 14%. Pepsi has a stronger presence in snacks with its Frito Lay division.
PepsiCo shares were down 26 cents, or .3%, to $82.17 in late-session trading Friday.
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