PepsiCo's pep+ Strategy Should Put It 'Ahead Of The Curve' On Sustainability: Analyst

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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PepsiCo's pep+ Strategy Should Put It 'Ahead Of The Curve' On Sustainability: Analyst

PepsiCo's new pep+ strategy, through which the business is seeking to improve its agricultural footprint by addressing its packaging processes and greenhouse gas emissions, should enable it to stay "ahead of the competition" when it comes to meeting consumer demand for increased sustainability, an industry analyst has said.

Holly Inglis, beverages analyst at GlobalData, was commenting following the launch of pep+ last week, an initiative that will see the business cut its virgin plastic use by half across all brands by 2030, achieve net zero emissions by 2040, and expand its Soda Stream business, among other initiatives.

“pep+ will keep PepsiCo ahead of the competition amid consumers’ ever-increasing demand for sustainability," Inglis said. "The policy will be popular with the 70% of global consumers that stated they prefer ingredients that are sourced sustainably and ethically."

Better For Consumers, Better For The Planet

According to GlobalData, consumers are actively seeking out both drinks and drinks companies that are both better for them and better for the planet.

"Therefore, focusing on beverages that are thought of as ‘healthy’ and ‘sustainable’ such as dairy alternatives, flavoured waters and iced teas may be a good bet in the long term given their historical popularity in a number of markets across the globe," Inglis said.


"If PepsiCo continues to utilise these categories like Lipton, in combination with the new policies, the company will be able to get a big leg up on its competitors."

There are suggestions, however, that PepsiCo's pledge doesn't go far enough, with Greenpeace noting that PepsiCo uses 2.3 million metric tonnes of plastic every year.

The NGO said that the business is 'consistently ranked among one of the world's worst plastic polluters', and needs to set more ambitious reuse and refill targets for its brands.

Watching Brands Closely

“It is clear that consumers are watching brands’ actions closely, as well as changing their purchasing habits based on how brands respond to the environmental crisis," Inglis noted. "GlobalData’s Q1 2021 global consumer survey reports that 33% of people worldwide like to see news about a brand’s sustainability initiatives.”


Commenting on the pep+ strategy, Jim Andrew, chief sustainability officer, PepsiCo, said that the initiative "directly links the future of our business with the future of our planet, for the benefit of both – from how we source ingredients and make and sell our products; to how we inspire consumers through our iconic brands to make better choices for themselves and the planet; to how we support communities and improve livelihoods throughout our supply chain".

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more A-Brands news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.


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