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Are the cola wars at an end?
Brace for the yogurt wars, as PepsiCo, long focused on battling its archrival, Coca-Cola, takes on the likes of Dannon and General Mills, not to mention Fage and Chobani. In the most visible sign yet of its efforts to curb its reliance on soda sales, PepsiCo this month will start selling yogurt in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states.
The products will initially be manufactured in Europe by Theo Müller, a large privately held German dairy company that has formed a joint venture with PepsiCo to capitalize on the growing yogurt market in the United States. “We’re very excited about this,” said Sam Lteif, chief executive of Müller Quaker Dairy, the joint venture. “There’s a huge opportunity for dairy in the U.S. market, and we’re optimistic about getting into it.”
PepsiCo, under its chief executive, Indra K. Nooyi, has been working to decrease its reliance on sugary carbonated beverages and snacks by developing new products and retooling old ones to increase their nutritional quality while remaining true to the company’s more playful roots. Ms. Nooyi calls this the “fun for you, better for you, good for you” strategy, and it has led to innovations that have reduced sodium in Lays potato chips and other snack chips and new sweeteners to reduce calories in juice products like Trop 50 and sodas like Pepsi Next.