PepsiCo appoints SoftBev as new South African bottler

Alan Henderson, PepsiCo South Africa, BU GM (426x640)PepsiCo today announced the appointment of SoftBev (Pty) Limited, the national soft drinks company, as its sole licensed bottler in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland and with distribution rights in Botswana and Namibia. The appointment will come into effect on July 15, 2015 and includes globally renowned brands such as Pepsi, Pepsi MAX, Mountain Dew, 7UP and Mirinda.

Confirming the new appointment today, Alan Henderson, PepsiCo South Africa’s Business Unit General Manager, commented: “The appointment of SoftBev heralds a new era for our beverages in South Africa and opens up fantastic new growth opportunities. South Africa is an important and strategic market and in SoftBev we have found a bottling partner that shares our belief in focusing on innovation, brand building and marketplace execution to get results.”

Henderson continued: “SoftBev has a proven track record with highly effective route-to-market strategies and PepsiCo is in the business of building outstanding, engaging brands. Together we will establish a solid platform for future growth and take our beverages portfolio to the next level, in the same way as we’ve grown our snacks business in South Africa.”

PepsiCo’s snacks business leads the South African market and includes the much-loved national brand Simba as well as globally successful brands such as Lay’s and Doritos. With the distribution power of SoftBev supporting its world-class brand marketing campaigns, PepsiCo will seek to maximize the natural synergies in purchasing between its snacks and beverages portfolio.

SoftBev was created following the recent merger of Shoreline and Quality Beverages, both well established players in the carbonated soft drinks market with brands such Coo-ee and Jive. Following the merger, SoftBev is a scale, national drinks operator in South Africa with three manufacturing hubs and national distribution reach, thus offering PepsiCo increased routes-to-market and the ability to realise the untapped potential for its beverage brands in the South African market.

Michael Brain, SoftBev’s Chairman, commented: “We are excited to be adding PepsiCo’s portfolio of exceptional brands to our existing business. Time after time PepsiCo delivers first-class marketing both here in South Africa and around the world – it is great to be a part of this. SoftBev brings considerable expertise to the table and critical mass and we are confident these attributes position us as the ideal partner to support PepsiCo in delivering accelerated growth for its beverages brands.”

Alan Henderson concludes: “This is a very exciting time for our South African business; our snacks portfolio continues to grow, we’re the official beverage partner for Burger King and Pizza Hut and we have a new bottling partner with the reach to unlock significant growth opportunities.  Mountain Dew has again been named the most talked-about brand on university campuses* and our Pepsi brands continue to partner with top-class sporting initiatives like the IPL and the UEFA Champions League. There’s a lot to look forward to – watch this space!”