Pepsi Pledges To Make Products Healthier

PepsiCo, Inc. has become the latest U.S. food manufacturer to announce plans to make their line of products healthier, vowing to cut sugar, salt, and fat in their brands during an investor’s conference on Sunday.

In addition to its Pepsi line of soda products, PepsiCo is the parent company of Frito-Lay, Quaker, Gatorade, and Tropicana. They have pledged to reduce the average sodium per serving by 25-percent over the next five years, and the average saturated fat in foods by 15-percent and the average sugar per serving in beverages by 2020.

“We believe that a healthier future for all people and our planet means a more successful future for PepsiCo,” Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO, said in a March 22 press release. “These commitments are shared by all of our businesses and reflect our focus on profitable, long-term growth and will guide us as we continue to build a portfolio of enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages for consumers around the world.”

In addition, the corporation has promised to begin displaying the caloric content and nutritional information of their products by 2012, cease sales of full-sugar soft drinks in primary and secondary schools, and work towards developing products that are both affordable and healthy.

PepsiCo also announced plans to provide access to safe drinking water to three million people in developing countries by the end of 2015, reduce packaging to eliminate of unnecessary landfill waste, and work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.

On March 17, Kraft Foods, Inc. announced plans to reduce the salt content of their food product line, which includes such brands as Oscar Meyer, Planters, and Ritz Crackers, by 2012.

“We are reducing sodium because it’s good for consumers, and, if done properly, it’s good for business,” Rhonda Jordan, President of Health & Wellness for Kraft, said in a press release at the time. “A growing number of consumers are concerned about their sodium intake and we want to help them translate their intentions into actions.”

Similar measures were taken by Campbell’s Soup Co. and ConAgra Foods, Inc. in late 2009.

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