PepsiCo Europe is today announcing an ambitious new plan to add more choice to its food and beverage portfolio in the member states of the European Union. The plan involves a series of commitments based on rigorous science-based nutrition guidelines. This voluntary commitment will be submitted to the European Commission as a part of its Code of Conduct for Responsible Business and Marketing Practices. These commitments build on progress PepsiCo has already made globally over the past decade to reduce added sugars in beverages and sodium and saturated fat in foods, introduce smaller portion sizes and create alternatives of existing brands with improved nutritional profiles, like Pepsi MAX, 7UP Free and Lay’s Oven Baked.
For its beverage portfolio in Europe, which includes Pepsi-Cola, Lipton Ice Tea and 7UP, PepsiCo’s new pledge will reduce the average level of added sugars across its entire soft drinks range by 25% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Across Europe, PepsiCo has already established a strong sugar-free portfolio in beverages, including Pepsi MAX and 7UP Free.
PepsiCo Europe also wants to further its journey to diversify its snack portfolio to include healthier options, learning from its success in growing sugar-free beverages. It aims to increase sales of snacks rated B or better in the widely used Nutri-Score nutrition labelling system by more than 10X by 2025. This will make healthier snacks its fastest-growing food category over the next four years with an ambition to expand this to a $1 billion portfolio by 2030.
The new goals will be achieved through reformulation of existing products, expanding the company’s existing brands, including Lay’s Oven Baked, to more markets, and introducing new snacking ranges such as PopWorks, its newly launched popped corn crisps range.
PepsiCo’s grains portfolio, which includes Quaker Oats, already offers a range of nutritious products to EU consumers with 70% of the product rated at either Nutri-Score A or B.
Silviu Popovici, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Europe said: “Consumers want healthier and more sustainable brands, and they want products that taste great. Over the past decade, we’ve reformulated and launched new products to bring more options to consumers. As a result, in Europe today, almost one in three beverages we sell is sugar-free and we believe this trend will continue to grow over time. With this pledge, we can use our experience with sugar reduction to accelerate our shift to a healthier snacks portfolio.”
PepsiCo understands that it is vital to market its products responsibly. The company has also aligned to UNESDA (the European soft drinks industry association) and the World Federation of Advertisers (EU Pledge) commitments around no marketing or advertising to children under 13. Since 2006, PepsiCo has not advertised its soft drinks to under 12s across Europe and it has applied science-based nutrition criteria to determine which food products it can advertise to under 12s.
This new plan is part of PepsiCo’s efforts to create a more sustainable food system and support the EU’s ambitious Green Deal. At the end of 2020, the company announced its plans to reduce virgin plastic use by moving to 100% recycled plastic bottles for brand Pepsi across nine EU markets by 2022. PepsiCo has also stepped up its goals to tackle climate change, committing to net zero by 2040 and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2030, while also scaling regenerative agriculture across its entire agricultural footprint, reducing GHGs by 3 million tons by 2030.