On the Street: Suntory Expanding Soft Drinks in China

December 28/Tokyo/The Daily Yomiuri -- Suntory Holdings Ltd. plans to expand its soft drinks business in China by utilizing sales channels of its trade partner PepsiCo Inc., the company said.

By using the channels of the leading U.S. foods and beverages company, Suntory hopes to expand its sales areas for its non-alcoholic beverages beyond Shanghai and Beijing, its current sales areas.

In 2010, Suntory will put on the market coffee-flavored milk-based drinks -- initially in Guangdong Province -- with the aim of expanding its sales throughout China.

Suntory makes and markets Pepsi-Cola products in Japan, while it has had a PepsiCo sales company as its local subsidiary in the U.S., with which it maintains close business relations.

Suntory also will tie up with PepsiCo in connection with its business in China, selling such refreshment beverages as ready-to-drink canned coffee and Oolong tea there.

The refreshment beverage market in China is expected to overtake Japan, becoming the world's second-largest market after the U.S. in 2010.

By operating a full-fledged soft drinks business in China, Suntory plans to expand its sales to 20 billion yen in 2012, a fivefold increase from 2009.  

From the January 4, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition