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Business briefs: Pepsi – Mars – Keurig Dr Pepper – FFP – Kensing

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Who said business is boring? From facility investments to acquisitions, Food & Beverage Insider has the 411 on key industry moves affecting innovation and product development.

Pepsi invests $24 million in plant in India 

PepsiCo India has unveiled plans to invest $24 million to expand its largest greenfield foods manufacturing plant in Uttar Pradesh, India. This facility, commissioned in September 2021, primarily makes Lay’s potato chips. The expansion will allow for a new manufacturing line to accommodate production of Doritos. PepsiCo has operated in India since 1989, and has become one of the largest food and beverage companies in the country. 

“The progressive ecosystem and industrial climate in Uttar Pradesh has yielded some fantastic opportunities for PepsiCo India,” said Ahmed ElSheikh, PepsiCo India president. “Thanks to the industry friendly policies and ease of doing business in the state, we achieved a major milestone of setting up our greenfield foods plant in Kosi in less than two years. The state-of-the-art facility is fueling the economic ecosystem and creating job opportunities in Uttar Pradesh.” 

Mars breaks ground on global R&D center 

On June 16, Mars Wrigley broke ground on a new global R&D hub in Chicago. The new facility will be built adjacent to the company's existing Global Innovation Center on Goose Island. The multimillion-dollar investment will be the company’s largest innovation hub, and will incorporate a test kitchen for developing new products. 

"Mars has a long history here in Chicago, and we're proud to continue our legacy of innovation in the Chicagoland area by breaking ground on our best-in-class global research and development hub for Mars Wrigley," said Chris Rowe, global VP of R&D. "As a leader in snacking and treating, we look forward to Chicago being the center of exciting, consumer-driven innovations that span the globe." 

The new facility is projected to bring about 30 more jobs to the Mars Wrigley Global Innovation Center. Construction is scheduled to be completed by summer 2023. 

"Mars has been a respected part of the Goose Island community for the past 17 years," said Chicago Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. "I am thrilled to see Mars deepen its commitment to Goose Island with the groundbreaking of this new facility." 

Keurig Dr Pepper acquires NA cocktail brand Atypique 

Keurig Dr Pepper has reached a definitive agreement to acquire global rights to Atypique, a nonalcoholic (NA), ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail brand, from Station Agro-Biotech, a Quebec-based company specializing in manufacturing and marketing alcoholic and NA beverages.  

Atypique is a part of the fast-growing nonalcoholic cocktail segment, offering a range of RTD NA cocktails such as gin and tonics, margaritas and mojitos. In terms of retail dollar sales, NA cocktails grew more than 30% over the last year. Atypique has a 42% market share of that segment. 

"We were looking for the best way to bring Atypique to the next level,” said Jonathan Robin, Station Agro-Biotech president. “This agreement represents an exceptional opportunity to work with a beverage industry leader, and Keurig Dr Pepper will bring market knowledge and strength to the Atypique brand.” 

Olivier Lemire, president of Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, stated, "Atypique is a great complement to our successful ready-to-drink alcohol portfolio, and we look forward to continue innovating around this brand to drive accelerated growth." 

Florida Food Products acquires Javo Beverage Co. 

Florida Food Products (FFP) announced it has acquired Javo Beverage Co., a natural extractor and formulator of clean label coffee, tea and botanicals. The company focuses on beverage applications including extraction capabilities and production of cold brew coffee solutions. 

In 2021, Ardian, a private investment house, acquired a majority stake in FFP from MidOcean Partners and established a new partnership to accelerate FFP’s long-term growth. Under this partnership, FFP has acquired Comax, T-Bev, and now Javo.  

“We’re ecstatic for Javo to join the FFP platform,” raved Jim Holdrieth, FFP CEO. “Javo’s best-in-class products are supported by a talented team and unique manufacturing capabilities that will drive a series of innovative new product launches. As part of the FFP family, we’re confident that Javo can offer our customers compelling new solutions that build on our deep portfolio of clean label ingredients.” 

Kensing acquires Vitae Naturals 

Kensing, manufacturer of vegetable-oil derived specialty chemicals, has acquired Vitae Naturals. Originally founded as Vitae Caps in February 2000, Vitae Naturals is a Spanish company with an international focus. The company produces plant sterol esters and non-GMO vitamin E derivatives for the food, nutrition and skin care markets. 

"We are pleased to bring Vitae Naturals into the Kensing family," announced Serge Rogasik, Kensing CEO. "This acquisition is highly complementary, strengthens our footprint in Europe and enables further expansion in food ingredients.” 

Rafael Cano Mariblanca, Vitae Naturals’ general manager, concurred: “Our businesses share similar values and we are delighted to become a part of the Kensing team. Kensing provides a strong platform to build upon our position in our existing markets and expand further into the personal care market. Together, we have a truly diversified footprint with numerous opportunities for growth.” 

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