Pep­siCo: More lo­cal tal­ent and prod­ucts

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By HUANG LIYING huan­gliy­ing@chi­

Lo­cal­iza­tion is play­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in Pep­siCo’s ex­pan­sion strat­egy in China, said Katty Lam, chair­man of Pep­siCo Greater China Re­gion.

The move is ex­pected to help Pep­siCo to win even more mar­ket share in the coun­try, she added.

“China is one of Pep­siCo’s most im­por­tant mar­kets in our strate­gic global busi­ness plans and the coun­try is go­ing to have another golden 10 years ahead,” she said.

The in­ter­na­tional gi­ant has put great ef­fort in nur­tur­ing lo­cal tal­ent at all lev­els, from ju­nior to se­nior po­si­tions, as an im­por­tant step in its lo­cal­iza­tion strat­egy.

“In the past, se­nior ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tions were of­ten filled by for­eign­ers. Now the ma­jor­ity of high-level jobs at Pep­siCo are taken by Chi­nese,” Lam said.

The com­pany said 99.8 per­cent of staff and 88 per­cent of all se­nior man­age­ment at Pep­siCo China are lo­cals.

Lam her­self is the first-ever Chi­nese woman to serve as the head of the com­pany’s sub­sidiary in the re­gion.

Lam said em­ploy­ees from dif­fer­ent prov­inces help Pep­siCo know more about mar­kets in var­i­ous re­gions of the coun­try.

To in­crease its share of the non-al­co­holic bev­er­age mar­ket, last year Pep­siCo formed a strate­gic al­liance with China’s lead­ing in­stant noo­dle and bev­er­age maker Tingyi Hold­ing Corp.

Lam said Tingyi’s ma­ture sales and pro­duc­tion net­work on the main­land is a huge bonus for Pep­siCo.

The com­pany also fo­cuses on de­vel­op­ing prod­ucts that cater to the tastes and pref­er­ences of lo­cal con­sumers.

One of the best- sell­ing po­tato chips in the coun­try is cu­cum­ber fla­vor, which is not avail­able in other coun­tries.

“We came up with the idea from a com­mon dish, pai huang­gua (shred­ded cu­cum­ber),” Lam ex­plained.

For a com­pany to do well in the North Amer­i­can mar­ket, it only needs to fo­cus on one or two pop­u­lar prod­ucts, said Lam, but in China the com­pany needs to have con­stant in­no­va­tion.

“Lo­cal con­sumers are ex­perts in food and they have an ap­petite for new prod­ucts. This chal­lenges us to be very cre­ative in prod­uct in­no­va­tion and in try­ing to sat­isfy the de­mands of lo­cal con­sumers.”

To de­velop more new prod­ucts, Pep­siCo opened a food and bev­er­age in­no­va­tion center in Shang­hai last year.

“The in­no­va­tion center can help us to de­velop prod­ucts that are more lo­cally rel­e­vant,” Lam said.

“It is the trend for the whole con­sumer in­dus­try” as lead­ing com­pa­nies in the food and bev­er­age in­dus­try de­velop dif­fer­ent prod­ucts for the var­i­ous re­gions in China, she added.

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