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PepsiCo appoints new president for Quaker

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo announced that Jaya Kumar has been appointed president Quaker foods and snacks.

In this role, Kumar will lead the $2 billion operating unit, with a portfolio of brands that includes Quaker hot cereals and Chewy granola bars, Cap’n Crunch, Life and Quaker Oatmeal Squares ready-to-eat cereals, Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, Rice-A-Roni and Near East side dishes, and Quaker’s lite snacks. Based in Chicago, he will report to PepsiCo Americas Foods CEO John Compton.

“Jaya brings a powerful combination of innovation, marketing and retail capabilities to his new role at Quaker,” said Compton. “As our global mega-brand for health and wellness, Quaker is the jewel of our good-for-you portfolio of food brands. Jaya’s passion for growth, coupled with his deep expertise in consumer and shopping insights, is an unbeatable recipe for taking Quaker through its next chapter of growth.”

Since joining PepsiCo in 2005, Kumar has worked with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America unit, most recently serving as the division’s chief marketing officer. While at Frito-Lay, he has transformed the marketing agenda and key organizational capabilities – driving innovation by integrating customer sales, marketing and research and development.

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PepsiCo announces new business unit

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. In anticipation of the previously-announced mergers with its two largest bottlers, The Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas, PepsiCo announced plans to form a new entity comprising the bottling businesses, effective upon closing of the mergers. The new unit will be called PepsiCo Bottling North America.

PBNA will comprise all current PBG and PAS operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and will account for about three-quarters of the volume of PepsiCo’s North American bottling system, with independent franchisees accounting for the rest. It will focus on integrating the two bottling businesses into a lean, nimble and highly-efficient organization. PBNA will be separate from the brand-oriented PepsiCo Americas Beverages unit, which will continue to oversee independent bottlers and Gatorade and Tropicana operations. The separation will allow greater focus for both units and enable PBNA to continue producing and distributing “allied brands” not owned by PepsiCo.

In addition to the merger, Eric Foss, current chairman and CEO of PBG, the world’s largest bottler of PepsiCo beverages, will become CEO of the new bottling unit, reporting to PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

Current PBG and PAS operations in Europe and Russia will be managed by PepsiCo Europe when the mergers are completed.

In naming Foss to lead PBNA, PepsiCo is engaging one of the beverage industry’s most experienced executives. “Eric is an extraordinarily talented executive with tremendous knowledge of and love for the bottling business,” Nooyi said. “We are fortunate to have him lead this new unit.”

Added Foss, “I am extremely excited to lead the new bottling entity. Our focus will be to create a bigger, stronger and faster organization that can better serve our customers and accelerate our growth in North America. I am eager to work with the talented people across PAS, PBG and PepsiCo to reenergize our beverage business, drive profitable growth for our customers and sustain a high performance and compelling environment for our people. It is great to re-join the PepsiCo team, and I look forward to accelerating our potential to become a more unified and integrated beverage system.”

In order to facilitate a smooth integration of the bottling businesses, PepsiCo will establish a special advisory board. Among its members will be: Eric Foss; Indra Nooyi; Robert Pohlad, chairman and CEO, PepsiAmericas; and Craig Weatherup, founding chairman and CEO of The Pepsi Bottling Group, who retired in 2003. Prior to his PBG tenure, Weatherup served as CEO of The Pepsi-Cola Company and president of PepsiCo.

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Duane Reade rolls out DR Delish product line

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Duane Reade’s new private-label offering, dubbed DR Delish, is one more indicator that the Manhattan-based retailer is forging ahead with its turnaround plans and taking steps to further meet the shopping needs of New Yorkers.

DR Delish debuted with an array of new products including all-natural and gluten-free trail mixes, vitamin-enhanced teas without artificial colors or flavors, 100% juices, all-natural baked potato crisps with zero cholesterol, and soy snacks made without trans fats. In all, 25 new products debuted and are now available at all 252 Duane Reade stores in metropolitan New York.

The retailer will launch additional products in time for the 2009 holiday season, and by the end of 2009 more than 100 products will be available under the DR Delish brand. Upcoming products will include Organic Lemonade, Belgian Chunk & Chip Cookies, Soy Crisp Caramel Chips and a variety of 100% Arabica coffee blends.

This announcement is one component of Duane Reade’s transformation under the watch of chairman and CEO John Lederer, who took the helm in April 2008. As part of the ongoing makeover, management is revamping the in-store shopping experience and recently launched new branding and advertising campaigns, as previously reported by Drug Store News.

In light of the wobbly economy and a desire to attract shoppers with exclusive offerings, retailers have been increasingly pushing their private label initiatives and Duane Reade is no exception. In the most recent quarterly conference call in July, Lederer said the company had introduced a number of exclusive front-end products that are driving category performance and, over the next few months, it would introduce 1,200 to 1,400 new private label products, including an apt. 5 reconfiguration in beauty.

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