Fizzing out: Pepsi hard to find amid reports that it will cease distribution in Indonesia

Cans of Pepsi. Photo: Instagram/@pepsi
Cans of Pepsi. Photo: Instagram/@pepsi

Update: As reported by CNBC Indonesia on Oct. 3, PepsiCo and the drink’s Indonesian distributor Anugerah Indofood Barokah Makmur have agreed to terminate their distribution agreement, which will come to an end on Oct. 10.

The perennial debate between Pepsi and Coca Cola has pretty much been settled in Indonesia, in large part because the former looks to be disappearing from the country.

Since late September, the distribution of the American carbonated drink brand has been reported to be slowly on the decline, resulting in rumors that it’s pulling out of Indonesia in the near future. 

According to a report by Tirto published last month, Pepsi in cans and 1.5-liter plastic bottles were nowhere to be found at convenience stores in Jakarta and employees who were interviewed said their stores had rarely received supplies of the drink in the last three months.

Tirto also reported last week that PT Sumber Alfaria Trijaya, which operates the Alfamart convenience store chain, has removed Pepsi products from their stores as they hadn’t received any information from the drink’s distributors for some time.

In addition, Tempo also reported that three major convenience store chains in Tangerang no longer sold Pepsi

Contracts between Pepsi and fast food giants Pizza Hut and KFC in Indonesia have been confirmed to end this month, with several restaurants already serving their competitor Coca Cola to customers.

“Pepsi will be gradually replaced by Coca Cola until end of October 2019,” Jeo Sasdanto, director of Pizza Hut Indonesia franchise holder PT Sarimelati Kencana, told IDN Times in a story published yesterday

“So far, we still have enough stocks of Pepsi. We’ll maybe use Coca Cola after the contract ends. A few months ago, Pepsi told us that they wanted to focus on other countries, not in Indonesia. That’s why the contract with us will also end in October,” said Justinus Dalimin, who is director of KFC Indonesia franchise holder PT Fast Food Indonesia. 

As of today, Indofood, which owns shares of Pepsi in Indonesia, has not released any official statement regarding the fate of the carbonated drink. Additionally, the official Twitter account of Pepsi Indonesia had also stopped tweeting since October of last year, while the last post on its Facebook page was from April. 

Oh well, at least we can safely say that that controversial Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner did not drive the drink’s sales in Indonesia.

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