PepsiCo plans to serve up corn-based snacks

Shobha Roy Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 11, 2012 Published on January 11, 2012

PepsiCo India Holdings Ltd, the maker of Kurkure and Cheetos snacks, plans to introduce its corn-based snacks in India. The company sells such products, particularly in markets like the US, under the Doritos brand.

PepsiCo has already approached the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation for allotment of close to two acres of land contiguous to its existing facility at Dhulagarh near Kolkata, for setting up an additional 6,000-8,000 tonnes per annum plant to manufacture corn-based snacks. Though WBIDC claims to have allotted the land, it is yet to be handed over. The expansion is likely to be completed by the end of the next fiscal (March 2013), said Mr Partha Gangopadhyay, Vice-President, Plant Operations, PepsiCo India, on the sidelines of a CII summit here today.

“It will be an addition to a completely new line at our existing plant at Dhulagarh. The capacity of the new plant will be close to 10-15 per cent of our existing manufacturing capacity of about 55,000 tonnes a year (which includes processing of potato chips, Kurkure and Cheetos),” Mr Gangopadhyay told Business Line.

The availability of corn would not be an issue in West Bengal. “Corn being a drier commodity as compared to potatoes, it will be easier to handle,” he said.

Mr Gangopadhyay did not respond to specific queries regarding the possibility of adopting contract farming (as done by the company in the case of potatoes) for the procurement of corn.

While Mr Gangopadhyay refused to share details regarding the estimated investments the expansion would call for, a senior WBIDC official on Tuesday had indicated that the company was in the process of investing about Rs 200 crore for the expansion of its existing unit in the state.

“PepsiCo is in the process of expansion. It has already invested close to Rs 300 crore in its plant in the state till so far. Further expansion will increase the total investment to Rs 500 crore,” Mr S. P. Yadav, Executive Director I & II, WBIDC, said. “We are in the process of handing over about two acres of land to PepsiCo,” Mr Yadav told Business Line .

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Published on January 11, 2012
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