This note was sent by Umran Beba, President, PepsiCo Asia Pacific to all associates.
This is the first of two blog posts that I will send to you from Indra’s trip to the Philippines, a remarkable country of over 7,000 islands, with a dynamic population of over 100 million people, and a PepsiCo business and team that embodies our company’s mission of Performance with Purpose.
Indra’s visit, which is taking place over two days, is divided into two clear parts. The first day we spent with our employees, business partners, and some Filipino business leaders. (More on that in a moment.) Today — assuming yesterday’s heavy rain has stopped — we will be out in the field, seeing the traditional trade stores that account for 75% of the distribution in the Philippines, interacting with key stakeholders, and visiting Waterhope, Asia Pacific’s signature Water Citizenship program.
The Philippines is one of our key beverage markets. It has good scale, has enjoyed excellent growth, and has also been a test market for several innovation ideas. A case in point is Tropicana, a brand built under strong juice credentials whose sales have been on a steep upward trajectory, in particular for the past three years. Did you know the Philippines was the first market to introduce pulp sacs in Tropicana juices, and also the first market to use actual, mouth-watering pineapple cubes? “The Phils”, as we all refer to them, has also trialed a range of Tropicana limited edition summer flavors, to keep consumers coming back for more. We will shortly also be launching Tropicana Coco Quench, a coconut water product.
Tropicana is just one of several of PepsiCo’s megabrands that are really resonating with consumers in the Philippines. Mountain Dew, in its distinctive long-neck bottle, is also a favorite, especially in traditional eateries. We often ask our Filipino consumers about the ‘personality’ of Mountain Dew, and they describe it exactly – daring and irreverent. (What a tribute to the great brand-building skills of the Phils team.) Gatorade — thanks to its chilled availability, and its association with basketball, a sport that Filipinos are crazy about – is also thriving.
There are other brands in the Philippines that are also doing well, and I will discuss more of them in my blog tomorrow. However, there are two points I really want to make right now. The first is about execution. At dinner yesterday, Indra Nooyi was seated next to Jose Victor Paterno, the head of 7-Eleven in the Philippines. In our years of partnership with 7-Eleven we have won the “Most Innovative Supplier” award almost every year. In fact, we have the honor of being one of 7-Eleven’s ‘preferred suppliers.’ For a business like ours, such praise is the highest accolade.
The second point I want to make is about people. Simply put, success is impossible without great people. In the Philippines, we are very fortunate to have strong partnerships – with our bottler, PCPPI; with our distributor, Benby; and with many other companies that help enhance our business. And we are also very fortunate to have a smart, committed, entrepreneurial and highly effective PepsiCo team, which has driven this business onward and upward for many years. Kudos to all those involved in this true team effort.
More from the Philippines tomorrow,