Global food and beverage giant PepsiCo has announced the opening of an innovation facility in Dubai’s life sciences cluster DuBioTech.
The facility, which is PepsiCo’s first in the region, will help develop products that will cater to the tastes of the local market and foster innovation in the regional market, the company said in a statement.
The innovation centre will be equipped with a culinary centre and test laboratories that will allow researchers to quickly test new product ideas. The facility will also work in collaboration with other PepsiCo research and development (R&D) locations across the world.
In recent years, PepsiCo has developed and launched a number of new products in the Middle Eastern markets, including Lay’s Forno potato chips, Tropicana Frutz, developed specifically for the Saudi market and chips such as Sunbites and Grainwaves.
“Innovation has always fueled PepsiCo’s growth engine and enabled us to build a portfolio of great-tasting, convenient food and beverage brands that are loved by consumers around the globe,” said Omar Farid, PepsiCo president for Middle East and Africa.
“The Dubai facility is a game-changer for our business that we anticipate will fast forward our innovation process throughout the entire region.”
The opening of the new R&D center in Dubai is expected to support the growth and expansion of PepsiCo across the region, the company said.
The Middle East is a key component of PepsiCo’s overall plan to drive growth in emerging and developing markets globally, the statement added. PepsiCo nearly tripled its business in emerging and developing markets from $8 billion in annual net revenue in 2006 to $23 billion in 2013.
Recently, the soft drinks giant also announced an investment of $345 million in Egypt over the next five years, which will be carried out in partnership with the Saudi diary firm Al Marai.
PepsiCo has a portfolio of 22 global food and beverage brands with each of them generating more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.