Pepsi fizzes back to Iraq

Pepsico International leads American cola giants back into Iraq.

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By  John Irish Published  January 8, 2004

Iraqi soft drink lovers are set to enjoy the fizz of Pepsi products after the American cola giant announced that it would be heading back to the former Baathist state thirteen years after withdrawing in 1990. In an agreement signed between Pepsico International and the Baghdad Soft Drinks Company (BSDC), the local partner will produce and distribute cola products as well as other Pepsi trademarked soft drinks such as Miranda and 7-Up. According to the BSDC, the move could create anything up to 2,000 jobs and will initially cover central Iraq. “We’re delighted to resume local production,” said Saad Abdul Latif, president of Pepsico International, Middle East & Africa region. With Pepsi Cola and its US rival, Coca Cola, competing for market share in the Middle East, Pepsi’s move into Iraq is bound to fizz things up between the two firms. Although, Coca Cola recently sent a delegation to Baghdad to discuss a joint venture with three different Iraqi companies, it seems that Pepsi’s previous franchise deals with the BSDC prior to 1990 enabled it to take the plunge first. The relatively young population of 26 million as well as a general yearning for western products would suggest that Iraq is a feasible market for American cola manufacturers.

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