Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has lauded Pepsi’s acquisition of the distributorship for the Ocean Spray line of juices in Latin American and the Caribbean, noting that this augers well for growth in exports and expansion of the local beverages industry.
He was speaking at a function held at the Wyndham Kingston today (Sept. 19) to officially announce the acquisition.
Citing data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, Minister Hylton informed that non-alcoholic beverages earned US$3.9 million last year, falling by US$0.6 million or 13.6 per cent.
"With the acquisition of the distributorship of Ocean Spray products, I am confident that when the figures for 2012 are in, we will see an increase in the level of exports of non-alcoholic beverages," he said.
He noted that food and beverages is "big business," with the global food and beverage sector valued at US$5.7 trillion in 2011 and is expected to increase to US$7 trillion by 2014.
In Jamaica, the food and beverage sector has performed well over the last six years, the Minister said, contributing on average 4.5 per cent to GDP in 2011.
He stated that one of the priorities of the Government is to get the economy on a sustainable economic growth and the administration therefore "fully applauds any acquisition, any merger, any expansion, any economic activity, which will contribute to or enhance the overarching goal of growing the economy and creating jobs."
"Economic activity, which increases Jamaica’s competitiveness and raises or solidifies its position on the global value and supply chains, gets the full support of the Government as it fits in with our medium and long-term growth strategy,” he added.
Stating that the acquisition is a good move for Pepsi, he said as it will enable the soft-drink distributor to boost its penetration in the local market, and strengthen its own brand, by offering the consumer a wide array of beverage options.
He noted further that the opportunities for social involvement are limitless, adding that every event, or programme, which has a healthy lifestyle component, can be connected to the Ocean Spray line.
Commercial Director, Pepsi Cola Jamaica, Gustavo Flamenco, informed that Jamaicans consume the most cranberry juice per capita in the world.
"Pepsi-Jamaica will be upping the ante to take the consumption of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juices to an ultimate high and maintain that consumption. The assorted Ocean Spray Juices have always been a part of a healthy lifestyle and with this exclusive distributorship…we hope to make cranberry juices the staple choice and the healthy choice for all Jamaicans," he stated.
With the recent upgrades and expansion made at the Pepsi plant, the company will be able to efficiently manage the Ocean Spray distributorship as well as the other beverages, which fall under the company’s portfolio.
In his remarks, Business Development Manager, Ocean Spray Cranberries, John Kaczynski, noted that the country is critical to the brand and represents a great investment. “We thank you again for the patronage of the Ocean Spray brand,” he said.
During the ceremony, the Ocean Spray Flavour Splash, which was first introduced to consumers earlier in the month, was officially unveiled.
It has a recommended selling price of $60 per bottle and can be found in supermarkets, wholesales, bars as well as restaurants and service stations island-wide.