Food and beverage giant PepsiCo on Tuesday signed a pact with the Maharashtra government to promote fruit processing and horticulture in the state as part of its committed investment of Rs33,000 crore in the country by 2020.
"Food and beverages localisation is very important. We already have a plant, Citrus International, in Nanded, Maharashtra and we continue to invest in it so that we use a lot more of the local fruits in our product," PepsiCo India chairman and chief executive Shiv Shivakumar told reporters in Mumbai.
"PepsiCo introduced Tropicana Mosambi two months ago and this is one way to ensure that fruit use by PepsiCo from the farmers improves," he said, adding that fruit-based drinks are growing faster.
Under the memorandum of understanding, PepsiCo will "continue to accelerate its on-ground work in Maharashtra to catalyse farming, improve yields and transform the fruit processing industry through several initiatives".
After Mosambi, PepsiCo will develop and launch a series of juices with locally-produced fruits including mango, guava, pomegranate, litchi and jamun, the company said in a statement.
The US-based beverage giant will also leverage learnings from other markets in which it operates to identify a viable path for adding fruit juice to their existing carbonated drinks to bring significant volume in consumption, it added.
Going forward, Maharashtra and PepsiCo are looking to collaboratively build a "best in class" fruit processing industry in the state, the statement added.