Blog: Dean BestPepsiCo health strategy short of being a home run

Dean Best | 23 March 2010

PepsiCo's investor meeting, which continues today (23 March) at the Yankees stadium in New York, is the US food and drinks giant's latest attempt to promote its health and wellness strategies.

The company set out its plans to reduce the amount of salt, saturated fat and added sugar in its products.

The announcement is just the latest from PepsiCo on its moves to make its product portfolio more healthy.

Last month, PepsiCo boss Indra Nooyi said the company was aiming to triple its US$10bn revenues from the healthy drink and food market with the launch of several products.

While some announcements on health and wellness suggest a knee-jerk reaction to the threat of regulation or the demands from First Lady Michelle Obama for action, PepsiCo's pronouncements have, interestingly, focused on the business benefit of better-for-you products.

Nooyi has said the success of PepsiCo's Quaker and Tropicana brands has created an “unbelievable” brand platform for the strategy, and this, coupled with enhanced R&D capabilities, will allow the company to grow the healthier products business range from its $10bn base.

However, while consumer advocates have welcomed PepsiCo's moves (the Center for Science in the Public Interest called the company's voluntary reductions "significant"), the company has, up to now, been light on details of where and on what the brands the cuts will be made.

PepsiCo would only disclose that the cuts will be made on "key global food brands" and in "key markets" and, until further light is shed on its plans, industry stakeholders cannot judge just how effective the company's plans will be.


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