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Gatorade Moves into Chinese Marketplace

PepsiCo Investment (China) Ltd, the largest consumer goods manufacturer in the world, has pledged to enhance its business presence in Chongqing municipality by launching Gatorade, a leading sports beverage brand, Zhu Huaxu, the firm's president, told China Daily on Friday.

"PepsiCo is expected to invest 10 million yuan (US$1.21 million) in a move to build up Gatorade as the No 1 brand in the local sports beverage sector," Zhu said.

This is Gatorade's debut onto the mainland and it will enter into Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province and Guangzhou in the coming months, according to Zhu.

As the only municipality in Southwest China, Chongqing is showing good economic development momentum.

"PepsiCo sees strong local market potential, and more important, plans to promote the Gatorade brand in Southwest China by leveraging its overseas branding experiences," Zhu said.

Gatorade has built up a strong brand presence throughout the world, especially in the United States. It tops the US sports beverage market with sales volume getting of more than 85 per cent , or and 1.6 billion litres consumed annually.

Gatorade's success abroad mainly results from the company's commitment to product research and development (R&D), which is also expected to contribute to Gatorade's local promotional campaigns, Zhu said.

Different from the general sports beverages, Gatorade can fully supplement minerals needed by athletes' bodies as they exercise.

"PepsiCo's R&D team is responsible for continuously conducting examinations on sportsmen and carrying out developing sports beverages suitable to them," Zhu explained.

In early 1994, PepsiCo entered into Chongqing municipality and set up Chongqing Pepsi-Tianfu Beverage Co Ltd.

"Although it did not perform well at the very beginning, the Chongqing company's business witnessed an upturn over the past two years, thanks to the municipality's rapid economic development and the local company's focus on high-quality services and new products," said Cong Ming, the firm's general manager.

(China Daily July 11, 2005)

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