The cola giant hopes its planned acquisition of Russian dairy and fruit juice company Wimm-Bill-Dann (WBM) will be a bridge to supplying healthy drinks and snacks to Russian consumers, while bringing Russian snacks to the rest of the world.
Pepsi's move is in line with a global shift in beverage and snack preferences - as incomes rise, so does health-consciousness, and for the health conscious, some interesting concoctions may be coming to a grocery near you.
PepsiCo's CEO, Indira Nooyi said that the company hopes to bridge snacks and beverages by "snackifying" drinks (drinkable yogurts and smoothies) and "drinkifying snacks" in Russia and around the world.
Some notable WBM products include Russian berry drinks, kefir grain fermented milk drinks and regionally flavored drinkable yogurt. Included in the purchase is WBM's entire dairy and juice portfolio, including the Chudo, j7, Lubimy Sad juice brands and dairy brands like Domik v Derevne "Little House in the Country" and BioMilk, which makes traditional Russian sour milk products, including kefir (drinkable yogurt) and tvorog (curd cheese).
The company is already making headway in Russia - it has controlled Lebedyansky since 2008, which produces make-it-yourself Ekotail home-made oxygen "cocktails," for kids (all natural immune-system booster); as well as Severnaya Yagoda, a line of natural fruit waters and compotes (made from "ancient Russian recipes," incorporating ingredients like cowberry).
In 2005 archrival Coca-Cola bought Multon, which makes Yasli-Sad juices for kids (in nine flavors, including "pulpy" and "crushed" fruit varieties). Multon's Dobry brand has an "Enriched" line offering a number of emotionally charged functional flavors like "Keen Eyes" (chokeberry, cherry, blueberry, minerals) and "Beauty from Inside" (chokeberry, raspberry, chamomile).
Berries seem to be a recurring theme here; Pepsico has found a new market for its Naked Juice smoothies, which also has some berry-pumped products (Acai Machine, Berry Blast and Berry Veggie Machine).
However, plans are not all health-focused - Pepsico wants to introduce the world to some WBM products that until now not been consumed outside of Russia, a country known for its "glazed sweet curds" (similar to cream cheese). Some of these include WBM-produced chocolate covered and ginger-flavored cream cheeses.