RED Stripe and Pepsi Cola Jamaica have joined forces to form what they say will be the largest beverage distribution company in Jamaica, providing up to 200 new jobs and adding significant efficiencies to both companies’ route to market network.
The 50/50 joint venture, Celebration Brands Limited, will be responsible for selling and distributing all of Red Stripe and Pepsi Jamaica brands. The combined entity will operate a fleet of about 100 trucks and distribute more than 30 brands.
“It will be a monumental shift in our distribution, using the expertise of both companies,” said Red Stripe’s Managing Director Cedric Blair.
“This initiative will make us far more efficient in terms of serving our customers, minimising our costs and ultimately securing a sustainable future for Red Stripe and Pepsi Cola Jamaica,” Blair told a joint press conference at Red Stripe’s headquarters in Kingston yesterday.
Pepsi’s Commercial Director Gustavo Flamenco will head Celebration Brands. Flamenco, an industrial engineer with many years of experience in sales and distribution, has been managing Pepsi’s local operations over the last two years.
“Red Stripe and Pepsi have been two of the strongest brands in Jamaica, and joining them together gives us such a competitive advantage. Our aspiration is to be the number one company in off-trade and on-trade and it is our intention to have a full and seamless transition as this joint venture comes to life,” said Flamenco.
A phased roll-out, including the creation of a new sales team and back office staff, will commence in April.
Red Stripe has four distribution centres in Kingston, Montego Bay, St Ann and Manchester. Prior to the joint venture, the firm handled all of Pepsi Jamaica’s distribution outside of Kingston — some 70 per cent of the distribution of Pepsi Jamaica products, which include Gatorade, Ting, Tropicana and Pepsi.
Pepsi’s sole distribution centre on the island is in Kingston. The firms will combine their distribution centres in Kingston to form one warehouse in the nation’s capital.
Red Stripe was entirely responsible for the distribution of its own range of alcoholic beverages before the partnership.