Pepsi brass predicts 2008 will be a challenging year

Pepsi executives said Wednesday that they will lean heavily on Diet Pepsi Max and SoBe Life Water to meet their reaffirmed 2008 prediction of 3 percent to 5 percent case volume growth and mid to high single digit revenue growth.

Executives told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Pepsi would use those products to counter Coca-Cola products Coke Zero and glaceau vitamin water.

Pepsi Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi told the J-C that the company will watch the economy for signs of slowdown, and is grappling with rising raw material prices.

“We are well aware of the challenges in 2008 and we know full well it’s going to take more than a single action or initiative to address these challenges,” Nooyi said.

In 2007, Pepsi revenue rose 12.3 percent to $39.5 billion. The net income for the world’s second-largest beverage manufacturer also rose 2.1 percent to $3.4 billion.

Both Coke and Pepsi relied on overseas growth to offset flat North American growth, where noncarbonated drinks gained and CSDs fell.

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