US food and drinks giant PepsiCo said its latest investment in Vietnam will take its planned expenditure in the country to $400m between 2008 and 2013.

PepsiCo yesterday (16 August) committed US$250m to the country over the next three years in a bid to increase its manufacturing capacity, introduce new products and “strengthen” its existing brands.

Speaking at a gathering in Ho Chi Minh City, Saad Abdul-Latif, CEO of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East, Africa, said a large part of the investment will be spent in the north, central and southern regions of the country.

“We’ve been impressed over the years by the growth of our business in Vietnam and the country’s ability to weather the economic recession of the past two years,” Abdul-Latif said. “Vietnam is one of the emerging markets labelled by Robert Ward, global forecasting director for the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), as the CIVETS, the next big growth opportunities of the new century, following the BRICs.”

The CIVETS are Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.

“Along with the BRICs, these are markets we are keeping a close eye on,” Abdul-Latif said. “We believe that Vietnam is certainly poised to continue being a real contributor to the growth of our AMEA sector and the company as a whole.”

Both PepsiCo’s food and beverages businesses are growing in Vietnam but the firm said its food business was started only in the last few years, while its beverages business has been active for around two decades.

Recent launches in Vietnam include the snack brand Poca Nutz, which formed part of the firm’s ‘Performance with Purpose’ plan – a focus on efforts to introduce healthier food and beverage options to Vietnamese consumers.

PepsiCo also produces and sells other snacks under the Poca brand, which includes potato chips, pellets and nuts, as well as the Cheetos brand.