The Tappoo Group, bottlers for Pepsi Cola products in Fiji, has bought the soft drinks operations from the Lautoka-based Eddie Hin Group.

The acquisition adds the value-tier leaders FIZ and RC Cola brands to the extensive soft drink line-up of the Tappoo Group, including Pepsi Cola, 7Up Lemonade, Mountain Dew, Splitz and Mirinda carbonated soft drinks.

There was a need for good, second-tier in our line-up, and we also needed to expand production to cater for the growing demand for Pepsi, Tappoo executive director Madhu Tappoo said.

The Group has invested substantially to add new machinery and lab equipment to the former Eddie Hin Industries Ltd plant in Lautoka. A warehouse adjacent to the plant has also been occupied to cater for the increased production of Pepsi, FIZ and RC Cola.

Mr Tappoo says several million dollars have already been spent on the acquisition and set-up and more investment was imminent.

These investments are a must given that PepsiCo demands the highest of standards from its bottlers, he said.

The new bottling plant, in conjunction with existing equipment, will just cater for the demand in Fiji for Pepsi for the time being, he added, saying that the substantial increase in capacity was welcome news for Tappoo.

The Tappoo Group holds the rights for the distribution of Pepsi and its products for several other South Pacific countries. With the growing market in mind, the Tappoo Group will continue to invest substantially in Pepsi. This includes expanding the capacity of its PET bottle plant to cater for filling capacity of its new bottling equipment as well as expansion into canning Pepsi products for the export market. For this a state-of-the-art factory is in the pipeline, Mr Tappoo said.

The Tappoo Group will operate the plant under the name of Eddie Hin Beverages Ltd. with a former Eddie Hin Industries director, Jilyin Wong coming on board as Chief Executive Officer. Mr Wong will manage the Tappoo Group’s acquisition, grow their investment in the state-of-the-art production facilities, and increase production volumes at the highest of international quality standards

Mr Wong’s appointment and the name retention is in keeping with the Tappoo philosophy of easing in major acquisitions into the manifold Tappoo Group over a period of time.

Eddie Hin Beverages Limited’s products are exactly the same as those previously manufactured by Eddie Hin Industries Limited for the Tappoo Group. The acquisition brings in RC Cola, FIZ and Orchy into the Tappoo soft drinks and fruit juice line-up. The Pepsi range includes Pepsi Cola, 7Up Lemonade, Mountain Dew, Splitz and Mirinda carbonated soft drinks.

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