PepsiCo misses health targets

PepsiCo UK, which owns Tropicana, Pepsi, Quaker and Walkers, has admitted it has missed some of its short-term targets on developing healthier products set out last year.

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The food and drink company made the admission as it updates the market on the progress of its Health Report one year on. The document laid out a 10-year strategy to drive profit and growth through healthier products.

The targets it has missed include its pledge to launch and scale children’s lunchbox and breakfast ranges or increase availability of Walkers Baked and Pepsi Max by 25% by 2012 for consumers on-the-go.

In the report, Richard Evans, president of PepsiCo UK and Ireland says: “Some of the targets we set ourselves last year fall within the timeframe of this update, others are longer term and will take years to deliver. We have not met all of our short term targets and in the spirit of openness have chosen to be transparent about the setbacks, the challenges we have faced and how we propose to address them.”

PepsiCo claims, however, that it is on track or has already achieved a number of the commitments to making its food and drink portfolio healthier, such as exceeding its target to deliver more servings of wholegrain, using healthier oils in reformulations, widening the availability of fruit juice in fast food and reducing the salt in its core Walkers range by 11%, which means the crisps are now 55% lower in salt than in 2005.

It has also seen sales of Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max double those of regular Pepsi, which it says fulfils its pledge to achieve this by 2015.

Evans adds that PepsiCo is using its marketing expertise to promote healthier choices and has signed up to the government’s responsibility deal in a bid to play its part in finding solutions to improve public health.

PepsiCo published its first health report in March 2010 and set out 27 commitments, which it hopes will transform it into a business whose profit and growth are driven by healthier products.

As part of its efforts the company has made moves to reformulate its core products such as Walkers crisps by reducing salt and saturates and has acquired brands such as Quaker and Tropicana to boost its portfolio of healthy food brands.

It plans to grow its offering of fruit, fibre, wholegrain, vegetables and micronutrients and reshape the savoury snack and soft drink categories.

Its pledges include:

– Ensuring that 50% of savoury snacks are baked or include positive nutrition by 2015
– Ensuring that 65% of carbonated soft drinks are no-sugar variants by 2015
– Introducing a cap of 160 calories across all single serve savoury snacks that don’t include positive nutrition by 2015

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