PepsiCo to Reduce Sodium and Enhance Ingredient Diversity in the Global Snack Portfolio

PepsiCo aims to achieve at least 75% compliance with global sodium targets in its convenient foods’ portfolio by 2030, as part of its Pep+ program. The company pledges to incorporate more diverse and nutritious ingredients, such as legumes, whole grains, plant-based proteins, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds, to foster a nutritionally varied

diet. These commitments align with PepsiCo’s broader Pep+ initiative, initiated in 2021, which focuses on creating a positive impact on the environment, supply chain, and nutritional quality of its products.

PepsiCo’s snacking division, dominated by Frito-Lay and Quaker Oats, holds significant financial weight, contributing over $26 billion in North American sales during the 2022

fiscal year. This segment represents nearly a third of the company’s substantial $86 billion in global sales, with consumers reportedly consuming PepsiCo food and beverage products over 1 billion times daily.

As consumer priorities shift towards healthier eating and greater environmental awareness, FMCG’s manufacturers, like PepsiCo, are compelled to revamp their product offerings. Despite the challenges of altering well-established products, companies set long-term targets to navigate the complexities of taste, texture, manufacturing processes, and sourcing considerations.

Mr. René Lammers, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer for PepsiCo, emphasized the company’s commitment to constant innovation, stating, “We are in a constant cycle of innovation to reimagine the foods we make and how we make them so we can bring better choices to our consumers without ever compromising on taste.”

The reduction of sodium is a focal point, with PepsiCo’s new goal being 15% to 30% lower than the current target for key convenient food categories, following guidance from public health experts, including the World Health Organization. The company aims for a 15% sodium reduction in its U.S. Lay’s Classic Potato Chips, resulting in a sodium level of 140 milligrams per 28-gram serving.

Mr. Mustafa Shamseldin, Category Growth Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for International Foods at PepsiCo, emphasized the positive impact of reducing salt in their foods, stating it is “the right thing to do” and has been beneficial for their business. PepsiCo, already known for incorporating better-for-you ingredients, plans to diversify its ingredient mix further, aiming to reach 145 billion portions of diverse ingredients annually in its global convenient foods’ portfolio by 2030. Each portion is anticipated to provide approximately 10% of the suggested daily amount of a diverse ingredient.

The Frito-Lay division has previously introduced healthier versions of popular brands, limiting sodium and saturated fat while adding more fibre, whole grains, vegetables, and protein. Affected brands include Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos, Lay’s, Ruffles, and Rold Gold.