Pepsi Competes Against Itself
By George Anderson
It’s a common practice. Retailers and restaurants serving immigrant populations or consumers who just want to eat “authentic” foods import the versions of popular international brands such Pepsi-Cola manufactured in other countries into the U.S.
While the practice is not normally viewed as controversial – if anything it’s seen as smart target merchandising by retailers serving specific demographic groups – it has become a source of dispute between PepsiCo and an Atlanta food wholesaler specializing in serving the Hispanic food market.
According to a report in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, a federal lawsuit filed last month by Pepsico against Diaz Wholesale & Manufacturing Co. asks that the wholesaler stop selling Mexican-bottled Pepsi in the U.S.
The suit alleges that product may have been damaged in transport and that its quality control mechanisms and labeling requirements for beverages made in Mexico are not the same as they are here.
“The Mexican product is neither authorized nor intended for exportation out of Mexico or for importation into, or sale or distribution in, the United States” contends the plaintiff and “PepsiCo hasn’t authorized Diaz to sell the product here.”
Moderator’s Comment: What is your take on this case and the value (or lack thereof) of selling imported versions of popular brands sold here to immigrants
and other consumers?
Diaz Wholesale & Manufacturing distributes imported products to restaurants, mom and pop grocery stores and large chains such as Kroger and Publix.
Pepsi’s suit against Diaz doesn’t indicate the retail customers who have purchased the Mexican-made product or how much of it has been sold. It does seek
to have Diaz end its sale of the Mexican product and to turn over any profits it has made to date to the manufacturer. –
George Anderson – Moderator