The new innovation centre is based in DuBiotech, part of the Tecom free-zone dedicated to science- and research-focused enterprises. The PepsiCo facility will include test laboratories and a culinary centre, and will be dedicated to producing new varieties of the firm’s beverage and snack products for regional consumers.
Developing markets triple
PepsiCo has been putting a greater focus on emerging markets in recent years, with sales almost tripling from US$8bn in 2006 to US$23bn in 2013. This represents just over a third of the company’s annual US$66bn turnover last year.
“PepsiCo continues to build global research and development capabilities that are differentiating our brands in the marketplace and driving attractive new growth opportunities. This new innovation centre will also allow our experts in the region to continue driving science, technology and innovation thought leadership,” said Jan Weststrate, senior vice president for R&D at PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Along with PepsiCo, DuBiotech recently saw food additives firm CP Kelco open a facility in the free zone, to service its regional customers. HITS, the first private Halal testing firm in the Middle East, also started operating from DuBiotech in March this year.
“PepsiCo is one of the world’s most successful food and beverage companies in the world, and we’re proud that they are opening their facility in the Nucleotide Lab Complex of DuBiotech. Multinational companies are playing an important role in Dubai’s continued development, and we look forward to having PepsiCo as part of the fabric of the Middle East for many years to come,” said Marwan Abdulaziz, executive director of DuBiotech.
More regional products
According to PepsiCo, the company currently distributes 22 brands in the Middle East, generating more than US$1bn a year in sales. The firm highlighted its existing region-specific products, including Tropicana Frutz, developed for the Saudi market, Lay’s Forno baked potato crisps, and crisp-grain hybrid products Grainwaves and Sunbites.
“Innovation has always fuelled PepsiCo’s growth engine and enabled us to build a portfolio of great-tasting, convenient food and beverage brands that are loved by consumers around the globe,” said Omar Farid, PepsiCo president for Middle East and Africa.
“The Dubai facility is a game-changer for our business that we anticipate will fast forward our innovation process throughout the entire region,” he added.
Amr El Hadidi, head of R&D at PepsiCo Middle East and Africa, said: “This centre will play an important role in our global R&D network by bringing cutting edge technology and innovation to our businesses in the Middle East and partnering with other PepsiCo locations to achieve new breakthroughs in other parts of the world.”