In mid-October PepsiCo announced a new plan for the future of their products. Most items on their corporate agenda are scheduled to be accomplished by 2025, with a few planned for completion in 2030. These goals are meant to show that PepsiCo products will become healthier, more environmentally responsible options. The company is reducing levels of sugar in its beverages, using water more efficiently in production of ingredients from farms, and reducing greenhouse gases. Finally, PepsiCo plans to gift $100 million to their foundation to be used to support as many as 12.5 million young women and girls in organizations that do the most good in that arena.
Their goals are specific: to reduce the sugar in their drinks, they plan to implement radical recipe changes for two-thirds of their beverages so they have 100 or fewer calories from added sugar, and to increase their efforts to develop low- and zero-calorie products. In addition, they plan to achieve 15% more efficiency with agricultural water usage, and to produce 20% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
These are not random goals. They are specifically meant to address changing consumer needs and societal focus. Making options “healthier” in a variety of ways allows them to market their products as healthier choices, for the body, for women, and for the planet. PepsiCo has already been working their Performance with Purpose campaign since 2006, making sustainability a prime component of their efforts. Continuing for another 10 or more years is a good marketing strategy as well.
Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s CEO and chairman, said: “To succeed in today’s volatile and changing world, corporations must do three things exceedingly well: focus on delivering strong financial performance, do it in a way that is sustainable over time and be responsive to the needs of society. The first ten years of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose journey have demonstrated what is possible when a company does well by also doing good. We have created significant shareholder value while taking important steps to address environmental, health, and social priorities all around the world.”
Moving Into the Next Decade
Their central focus for the next 10 years will be making products to improve health and well-being, empowering people everywhere, and protecting the planet. These ideas proceed from a new marketing understand of what people want, what the company’s key stakeholders feel will work, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development proposed by the U.N
Harvard Business School’s Bill George said: “During the past decade, PepsiCo has become a role model for global companies by demonstrating that aligning business and societal interests is a recipe for strong financial results. PepsiCo’s example is a positive reminder that the world’s top-performing companies are increasingly measured by more than short-term financial returns. They can and must be forces for good in the world, and those that embrace this mindset will be best positioned to deliver for both shareholders and society.”
PepsiCo products are not just about soft drinks. They include such brands as Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Quaker, and Tropicana. 22 of their brands bring in more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales.
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