The State of Children's Rights and Business

PepsiCo: A systematic approach to marketing and product development

Global Benchmark 2022

Company score level:

Leader

Sector:

Food, Beverage & Personal Care

Industry:

Food & Beverage

Country HQ:

USA

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo, Inc. is an American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation headquartered in Purchase, New York. PepsiCo’s business encompasses all aspects of the food and beverage market. PepsiCo was formed in 1965 with the merger of the Pepsi-Cola Company and Frito-Lay, Inc. PepsiCo has since expanded from its namesake product Pepsi-Cola to an immensely diversified range of food and beverage brands. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

About the case series

Global Child Forum knows that one of the best ways to increase your company’s positive impact on children is by learning from others. The challenges that companies face, while seemingly unique, do share much in common with one another when trying to understand how best to manage operations sustainably and with a child-first perspective. The cases in this series, based on interviews with company professionals are executing on their company’s sustainability and human rights practices,  provide a range of perspectives and solutions that we hope widen your thinking on what’s possible when children’s rights are put into focus.

Case:

A systematic approach to marketing and product development

Over the last decade the focus has been on protecting children: from exposure to food and beverage marketing as well as considering the impact of foods and drinks on children’s development and overall health.

The result? Companies aiming to be in the forefront of the food and beverage market tend to take a two-pronged approach: on the one hand, working to ensure responsible marketing practices that do not target young children; on the other hand, focusing on product development for healthier options (reducing added sugars in beverage brands and increasing availability of nutritious snacks, for example) and providing more choice for families and their children.

PepsiCo’s products are consumed more than one billion times a day across the globe, and children are among these consumers. Thus, the company is committed to responsible marketing and has a clear policy on responsible marketing to children. At the same time, recognizing that their products are being consumed by children and that consumers of all ages are key to the success of the business.

Global aspirations – local implementations

To make certain that policies on responsible sales and marketing are being implemented throughout PepsiCo’s multitude of markets, the public policy, marketing, and legal teams work closely together to help ensure the company is on the leading edge and constantly developing products and messaging that are up to date.

Because PepsiCo is a global company, the markets differ across regions and cultures. To ensure a common standard, global policies are based on WHO and industry standards, for example, The International Food & Beverage Alliance’s Global Responsible Marketing Policy. The public policy team also works with local teams as well as industry associations to ensure that these policies are implemented in all markets where the company does business, recognizing the importance of both national legislation and broader industry standards to establish uniform practice and drive development in the area.

Getting the consumer on board

The company has set aggressive targets for the growth of their more nutritious product segment and, while they are making progress toward the goals, recognizes that there are challenges: “Reformulations can be made, but you also need to get the consumer on board,” says company Public Policy Director, Janis Herzig. “A significant challenge is how best to match consumer demand for nutrition, convenient and great taste with research and development as well as marketing”, she continues.

To support its targets of increasing the consumption of more nutritious products, the company has been increasing marketing of its more nutritious options and works closely with consumer education programs through, for example, industry associations to help consumers choose the right products for their families.

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