PepsiCo says it is finalising an investment proposal of approximately $40 million to expand its Senselet snacks business in Ethiopia.
The company is also considering further investments in the country to expand its portfolio beyond snacks.
Established in 2015 by Veris Investments, Senselet produces chips under the brand name Sun Chips, which are sold across approximately 10,000 outlets in Ethiopia.
Senselet’s potato processing site was constructed in 2017. Since its establishment, Sunselet has generated more than 300 jobs, as well as initial exports to two neighbouring countries.
The investment will fund the creation of another potato chip product, among other snacks, in line with its production facility.
Chris Wijnterp, general manager of PepsiCo’s foods unit in Ethiopia, said: “The investment is further proof of the confidence that PepsiCo has in the potential of the country for economic growth. This cash injection will allow us to increase our production capacity for snacks tenfold. This also allows us to further leverage PepsiCo’s expertise to help accelerate the growth of Senselet in Ethiopia by boosting its potato sourcing programmes, as well as its manufacturing and go-to-market capabilities.”
He continued: “This forms part of our efforts under the PepsiCo Positive strategy to help build a more sustainable food system in Ethiopia – one that can meet human needs and continue to drive global economic and social development, within the planet’s natural boundaries”.
The company says it hopes to “contribute to food security in Ethiopia by developing the production of potatoes locally, increasing farmers’ income and building a more stable potato value chain”.
Wijnterp explained: “In addition, it allowed for the procurement of potatoes from several thousand smallholder farmers, which subsequently doubled their respective income via improved yields and prices”.
Ethiopian investment commissioner, Lelise Neme, added: “This announcement is testament to the work the Ethiopian government has done in creating a conducive investment environment for foreign companies. We look forward to witnessing the growth of PepsiCo in Ethiopia and the subsequent benefit to our economy, communities and agricultural sector.”
The final investment is pending applicable licenses and investment benefits.
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