PepsiCo Avoids Snack Police

Sep 23, 2002

The outcry over obesity in society has snack food giant, PepsiCo, looking to come up with nutritious alternatives to its popular salted snack and sugar-laden beverage fare.

Steven Reinemund, chairman and chief executive officer, PepsiCo “is pushing to make at least 50% of PepsiCo’s food-and-beverage offerings “nutritious” — cutting fat and adding ingredients such as broccoli”, says a Page One piece in today’s Wall Street Journal.

PepsiCo is expected to announce plans to remove unhealthy oils from some of its salty snacks and introduce nutritious ingredients such as broccoli into others.

Mr. Reinemund isn’t looking to turn PepsiCo into a health food company, however. He believes, “the consumer wants a balance of indulgence, as well as ‘better for you.’ And if we overreact … in either direction, we won’t get the balanced growth that we want.”

Moderator’s Comment: Is PepsiCo making the right decision
in aiming to make half its products nutritious?

Consumers eat snack foods for a variety of reasons in
a number of different eating occasions. Common in all these decisions is taste.
Healthy won’t cut it if the snacks don’t taste like junk food (our term) or
fun foods (PepsiCo’s term). Our advice to PepsiCo is to proceed with extreme
caution regardless of what the snack police have to say. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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