Coca-Cola Co. said Monday it will invest $2-billion (U.S.) in India over the next five years, a move that will heat up competition with PepsiCo Inc. in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
The size of the investment is equal to what the world’s largest soft drink company has spent in India over the past 18 years since re-entering the country in 1993.
Coca-Cola India and its bottling partners plan to invest in consumer marketing and brand-building, expansion of distribution and cold drink equipment placement and development of manufacturing capacity, it said in a statement.
Coca-Cola currently employs about 25,000 people in India, the world’s second-fastest growing major economy, the statement said.
Coke pulled out of India in 1977 following a government ruling that would have required it to share its secret formula with Indian partners.
The company, which gets the majority of its sales from outside the United States, said last month that foreign exchange rates that boosted its profit in the third quarter would turn against the company in the fourth quarter as the U.S. dollar strengthens.
Shares of both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo were down less than 1 per cent in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.