PepsiCo has vowed to “accelerate away from the rest of the pack” in Russia, which has become the US food and drinks giant’s largest international market after the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann.

Zein Abdalla, CEO of PepsiCo’s European division, outlined how the company believed it could continue to expand in Russia, where it is now the biggest food and drinks company after buying market leader Wimm-Bill-Dann.

Speaking at an analyst event in London yesterday (30 March), Abdalla said the Wimm-Bill-Dann business still had room to grow in Russia as per capita consumption of dairy products lags behind the levels seen in some markets in western Europe. 

The PepsiCo executive also pointed to the low consumption of savoury snacks in Russia, a sector in which the Lay’s maker was already number one.

The acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann boosts PepsiCo’s presence in Russia from 29 cities to 47 cities, which equates to 75% of the population, Abdalla told the Consumer Analyst Group Europe (CAGE) conference.

Abdalla also described how both businesses could combine their portfolios to drive “top-line synergies” in the country.

“We can take Wimm-Bill-Dann now into convenience by leveraging their portfolio through our massive cooler infrastructure and truly bring convenient solutions to the dairy category – as a result of our know-how both in terms of go-to-market and also in terms of taste and consumer marketing for convenience,” Abdalla explained.

“We have a clear strategy for Russia to not just hold the number one but to accelerate away from the pack.”