Gilberto Maldonado
Director General
Grupo Peñafiel
View from the Top

From God's Hand Directly to the Bottle

Tue, 07/18/2017 - 16:21

Q: How does the Mexico unit adhere to Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s global strategy?
A: Dr Pepper Snapple is a global group with different affiliates across the world. Each is in charge with distributing the group’s products and representing the group’s ethical, business and professional principles. We are Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s second-largest affiliate after the US. Grupo Peñafiel has four plants in Mexico and almost everything we sell domestically is produced here, with the exception of some products imported from the US, such as our large-sized Clamato juice or specific flavors of Snapple teas. Peñafiel products are available in Mexico and Central America and the company is the third-largest in the Mexican beverage market. Peñafiel has a long tradition in the domestic market, which has helped position us in the consumer’s mind as a local brand.
Q: What differentiates Peñafiel products from those of its competition?
A: The fundamental ingredient in Peñafiel products is mineral spring water, which has different physiochemical characteristics that allow us to provide a high-quality product. Our founder, José María Garci Crespo, use to say that the only hand that touches the mineral water we use is God’s hand, because we take it directly from the spring to the bottle. We also combine mineral water with other ingredients to elaborate our lemonades and flavored waters, such as Twist. Peñafiel’s mineral water is our main differentiator. We also have a diverse product portfolio, including Squirt, Crush, Schweppes, Clamato, Aguafiel and Venom. Peñafiel strives to provide consumers with a variety of attractive products.
Q: The government has imposed a tax on sugary drinks to help fight obesity and diabetes. How is this legislation impacting Peñafiel and the wider industry?
A: Obesity and diabetes are long-term issues developed from a multitude of factors. The Mexican population’s eating habits and food culture are key among those. The global beverage industry is quite large and Mexico is the second-biggest worldwide producer and consumer of these drinks. The tax provides the government a way to help finance some programs to battle these diseases. As an industry, we believe we are not the main cause of this health problem. This tax has been imposed on us but I believe society now understands that it neither addresses the main cause nor provides a solution for obesity and diabetes. It is not a constructive tax and merely results in the consumer paying more for something they will not stop consuming because it is a part of the culture. We must work with professionalism and integrity to try to find solutions.
Q: What specifically is the industry doing to influence healthy habits?
A: The industry’s goal is to produce products suited to current circumstances and which address the consumer’s desire for health, welfare, entertainment and indulgence. Our products are based on what consumers want, so we have to consider taste, enjoyability and producing products with fewer calories. We are also focused on motivating the consumer to partake in physical activity and to change habits.
Q: Sustainability has become one of the industry’s most pressing issues. How do you ensure sustainability in your production?
A: Peñafiel takes social responsibility very seriously. We make it a point to consider our environment and the communities in which we work and execute programs that benefit these communities. For 12 years, we have been certified by the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (Cemefi) as a socially responsible company. We participate in reforestation programs and volunteer activities in schools. Additionally, Peñafiel works to have a bigger impact by sponsoring the construction of children’s playgrounds, and engaging with the community to preserve it. So far, we have built four playgrounds across the country and we are looking to construct more.


Grupo Peñafiel is the Mexico subsidiary of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. It produces and distributes the group’s brands in Mexico as well as Peñafiel products. The company has four plants in Mexico and more than 3,000 employees