Pepsi Zimbabwe says that it has more than doubled production at its manufacturing and bottling plant in Harare.
Pepsi Zimbabwe is the local unit of Varun Beverages which is the largest bottler of PepsiCo products — Pepsi, Mirinda, Mountain Dew and Seven-Up outside the United States.
The local beverages and soft drink market are dominated by Delta Corporation. However, Delta recently announced that it had shut down some of its plants due to foreign currency shortages.
Pepsi Zimbabwe corporate affairs general manager, Fungai Murahwa said
We have recently invested an additional $20 million and increased production capacity by 150%. We are operating at full capacity, with three shifts daily. We have done so in order to meet with the growing demand and also to have a better product on the market.
Varun Beverages has a very long-term vision in Zimbabwe, and we are not too much concerned about the profits at this stage of our investment in our make, sell and delivery processes.
The forex situation in the country is tough, but due to the fact that we belong to a large group with a global presence, as well as our ability to leverage on our position within PepsiCo, where we are the second largest bottler worldwide, we are getting extended credit lines from our off-shore suppliers.
To date, our total investment is approximately $50 million. We are investing in a Husky line to ensure production of preforms from resins as part of our cost management plan through backward integration.
This will also see our requirement of foreign currency for packaging material going down significantly.
In addition to this, we are working with farmers to invest in food processing units. We are looking for any other FMCG businesses for us to invest in and manage.