Adhering to Changing Consumer Tastes, PepsiCo Acquires Snack Brand Be & Cheery
Business, Food, Markets

Adhering to Changing Consumer Tastes, PepsiCo Acquires Snack Brand Be & Cheery 

PepsiCo Inc is all set to dig into the Chinese market with long-term plans. The US multinational beverage maker has announced plans to buy Chinese snack brand – Be & Cheery from local jujube maker Haoxiangni Health Food Co Ltd.

The acquisition settled at a deal of US$705 million is an important step by PepsiCo, marking one of its largest investments in a country deeply affected by the throes of the US-China trade war and coronavirus outbreak. The purchase of Be & Cheery, which is a firm selling snacks ranging from nuts to dried fruits on Chinese e-commerce platforms, reflects PepsiCo’s long-term goals of leading the food and beverage market in the country.

As per the Chief Executive of PepsiCo Greater China – Ram Krishnan, the acquisition highlights that China’s consumer-facing companies and their e-commerce platforms have more to offer than the world. He added that the Chinese firms are quick to analyse the changing consumer tastes and innovations.

In a statement released yesterday, Krishnan said, “Be & Cheery adds direct-to-consumer capability, positioning us to capitalize on continued growth in e-commerce, and a local brand that is able to stretch across a broad portfolio of products, through both online and offline channels.” He added, “We also expect to leverage Be & Cheery’s innovation and consumer insights capabilities to drive innovation in other key PepsiCo growth markets.”

The news was confirmed by food processing unit, Haoxiangni in a separate filing, where the Hangzhou-based firm stated its plans to shift focus on its jujube business. Revenue reports released by Be & Cheery in 2019 place company revenues at 5 billion yuan (US$711.7 million), making it one of the largest online snack firms in China. Based on data by Dealogic, the acquisition is the eighth-biggest outside of the US.

Besides planning for expansion in Chinese market via Be & Cherry, PepsiCo is spreading its beverage portfolio across the MENA region and Kazakhstan too. The beverage company has renewed its 25-year partnership with Kuwait-based Americana Group. The deal stresses on improving consumer access to PepsiCo’s products at their favourite Americana restaurants like HFC, Hardee’s, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays and Krispy Kreme.

As stated by Eugene Willemsen, CEO of PepsiCo Africa, Middle East and South Asia, “The PepsiCo and Americana partnership is a great deal for both our companies and our consumers. Consumer habits, along with food and beverage preferences, are shifting rapidly across the Middle East.”

With its strategic expansion across the MENA and Asia region, PepsiCo is looking forward to gain larger market share than its competitors like Coca-Cola. Currently, the deal with Be & Cheery is subject to a Haoxiangni shareholder vote, certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

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