PepsiCo will seek to reduce the amount of sugar in its soft drinks by two-thirds over the next decade, as part of a package of health and environmental objectives.
By 2025, the company will aim to have 100kcal or less from added sugar in each 12oz serving of its flagship beverage brands, such as Pepsi, Pepsi Max and Diet Pepsi. It will facilitate the reductions through the launch of more zero- and low-calorie drinks, as well as by reformulating its existing products, media reports said.
The new target is more than 2.5 times more ambitious than PepsiCo’s existing plan to cut sugar in some of its drinks by 25% by 2020.
Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s chief scientific officer of research and development, explained the challenge of reformulation to Reuters by explaining that the issue was more complex than simply bringing in alternative sweeteners. “The science has evolved,” he said, “it’s not just about sweeteners, it’s about understanding the flavour ingredients and having proprietary knowledge and access to them.”
The strategy comes amid a host of changes from PepsiCo, as it seeks to revive the popularity of its soft drinks portfolio.
The New York-headquartered group sought to arrest decline in its diet soda sales earlier this year by reintroducing a ‘classic’ variant of Diet Pepsi, complete with aspartame, just ten months after the brand unveiled plans to eliminate the controversial sweetener from Diet Pepsi’s formula.
And in April, CEO Indra Nooyi revealed plans to increase PepsiCo’s focus on what it called ‘guilt-free’ product lines such as diet beverages and low-in-sodium snacks. Indra Nooyi told investors that the move away from colas formed part of a wider effort to reduce the company’s reliance on the product through innovation across its beverage portfolio.
“Globally, just 12% of our revenues come from trademark Pepsi and less than 25% comes from carbonated soft drinks on a global basis,” Nooyi said in a conference call. “We’ve been future-proofing our product portfolio, reshaping it to capitalise on consumers’ increasing interest in health and wellness.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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