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Pepsi Joins Angkor Beer to Open Soft Drink Plant

Pepsi Joins Angkor Beer to Open Soft Drink Plant

Pepsi-Cola International has linked up with the brewers of Angkor beer to bottle

soft drinks at plants in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh.

The new company, Angkor Beverage-60 percent owned by the private Cambrew company

and 40 percent owned by Pepsi's New York office-plans to start bottling Pepsi and

Seven Up at the Sihanoukville facility starting Jan. 1, according to Director John

Harper.

The ambitious plans include opening a new facility in the capital in 1994, which

will also produce the Mirinda range of soft drinks and sodas under a 10-year agreement.

Financial details were not available.

Angkor Beverage hopes to produce some 1 million cases (24 million bottles) of Pepsi

and Seven Up in the first year, with a refund on the 285 ml bottles.

A special soft drink bottling line at the French-built coastal plant has been completely

refurbished and new equipment installed under the direction of Pepsi technicians.

Concentrate will be shipped in from Cork, Ireland, but the joint venture will share

power, refrigeration and water treatment facilities with Angkor beer, which has just

gone on sale.

Company officials hope to sell the locally made product at about half the price of

imported Pepsi and Seven Up, on which the government currently levies a tax.

A distribution and sales team is already busy promoting Pepsi-with Seven Up to follow-with

the Pepsi logo quickly becoming a familiar sight around Phnom Penh.

Harper, who reckons the market is potentially enormous, noted that beer sales currently

outstrip those of soft drinks-almost unprecedented in a developing country.

He attributes this to poor promotion and marketing and the high costs of soft drinks,

which sell for about the sameprice as beer.

Pepsi says its product range leads the market in Cambodia, a position it enjoyed

in the early 1970s when the company had plants in Phnom Penh and Battambang.

Its main rival, Coca Cola, is also said to be eyeing the Cambodian market.

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