Marketers face threat as Pepsi buys PJ

Pepsi UK’s acquisition of Peter & Johnny, manufacturer of PJ Smoothies, could result in a shake-up of the company’s new marketing and management team.

Pepsi UK’s acquisition of Peter & Johnny, manufacturer of PJ Smoothies, could result in a shake-up of the company’s new marketing and management team.

Pepsi UK is believed to have bought the company for about &£20m and will use the acquisition to bolster its healthy product portfolio and lessen its reliance on fizzy drinks and crisps. The brand lines up alongside Pepsi’s other healthier products, such as Tropicana and Copella.

PJ Smoothies appointed Nathan King as its first marketing director in October. He joined from Jacob’s Bakery, where he was senior brand manager for Jacob’s Crackers.

Last September, the company recruited Andrew King (no relation) as chief executive from Orchard House Foods, where he was sales and marketing director.

The takeover could affect PJ Smoothies’ agency relationships. The company appointed St Luke’s as its first ad agency last June.

A Pepsi spokeswoman says that “there are no plans to make any changes to personnel”.

Pepsi adds that Pete & Johnny will remain a separate company within Pepsi and will retain its Nottingham headquarters.

The smoothie market was worth an estimated &£70m last year and PJ Smoothies jostles with Innocent Drinks for market leadership. The latter is about to unveil a new campaign by HHCL/Red Cell.

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