Blog: Hannah AbdullaPepsiCo hits out at palm oil "PR stunt"

Hannah Abdulla | 14 January 2015

US campaign group Sum Of Us has launched what PepsiCo called a "public relations stunt", criticising the beverage and snacks giant for its palm oil practices.

The ad campaign targeting PepsiCo's Doritos product, comprises bus posters and an online video called A Cheesy Love Story - the Ad Doritos Don't Want You To See. It also plans to undermine Doritos' Crash the Superbowl campaign - a competition which gives a member of the public the chance to create an ad to be aired during Superbowl.

"Each year, PepsiCo buys 427,500 tonnes of palm oil. Given how high profile the Doritos Super Bowl campaign is, we're using this opportunity to let consumers around the world know about PepsiCo's irresponsible palm oil sourcing policy. There's never been a better time to spread the message and make friends, family and colleagues aware of PepsiCo's practices," a statement on the Sum Of Us website read.

The fallout of Sum Of Us' campaign and the impact on Doritos sales will be interesting to see. PepsiCo - last year - revamped its policy on palm oil, pledging that by 2016 its palm oil will be largely free of rainforest destruction and peatlands conversion. 

Whether this is enough to appease campaigners is a separate question. Some may ask why it is taking so long.

Like many of its peers in the industry, PepsiCo is looking to develop a more sustainable sourcing of palm oil.

However, even Unilever, lauded by many NGOs for leading the way on palm oil has shown in practice how challenging it is to develop a sustainable supply chain.

In November, Unilever admitted it had fallen short of a worldwide pledge made a year earlier. It confirmed 58% of its palm oil was now "traceable to known sources," but the November before it pledged all of the palm oil it bought globally would be traceable to known sources.

A spokesperson for PepsiCo told just-food it had "repeatedly stated" it is "absolutely committed" to 100% sustainable palm oil with zero deforestation in its activities and sourcing.

PepsiCo added the "continual mischarecterisations" of its palm oil commitments by Sum Of Us were "patently false".

"This latest public relations stunt, focused on fiction rather than facts, does nothing to foster positive dialogue or affect positive change. We find our policies effective and stand by them," the spokesperson said.

BLOG

Danone closes WhiteWave, who will acquire Stonyfield?

Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...

BLOG

Premier Foods pension news offers cheer but challenges remain

Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....

BLOG

Another reshuffling of pack at Hain Celestial

Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....

BLOG

FrieslandCampina looking to sell final non-dairy asset

FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?