PepsiCo will significantly reduce the amount of sugar, sodium and fat in many of its products by 2025, the company announced Monday.
The beverage and snack food giant says that in response to the growing demand for healthier, more nutritious foods, it was aiming for a series of goals, including ensuring at least two-thirds of its drinks will have no more than 100 calories of added sugars per 12-ounce serving. Additionally, at least 75% of its food products will have no more than 1.1 grams of saturated fat, per 100 calories, and no more than 1.3 milligrams of sodium per calorie.
“To succeed in today’s volatile and changing world, corporations must do three things exceedingly well,’’ PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said in a statement. “Focus on delivering strong financial performance, do it in a way that is sustainable over time and be responsive to the needs of society. … Our new goals are designed to build on our progress and broaden our efforts.’’
Increasingly consumers, local governments, and bodies like the World Health Organization, have called for diets lower in sodium and sugar to combat obesity and prevent chronic conditions like hypertension. There has also been increasing concern about the use of artificial sweeteners and other chemicals, leading Pepsi and its rival Coca-Cola to roll out new drinks and revise older versions to keep their core businesses thriving.
It’s been a work in progress. Last year, for instance, PepsiCo decided to no longer use aspartame amid questions about the sweetener’s impact on health. But in June, it reversed course, saying that it would reintroduce a version of Diet Pepsi made with the artificial sweetener to satisfy the varying tastes of consumers.
Some municipalities are taking action to spur residents to make healthier choices — and boost the revenue in city coffers. In 2014, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city in the nation to pass a soda tax. In June of this year, Philadelphia became the first major U.S. city to follow suit. And San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, Calif., as well as Boulder, Colo., will vote on similar measures next month.
PepsiCo’s 2025 goals are part of a multi-pronged initiative aimed at increasing the company’s contributions to sustainability. Along with the cutbacks in sodium, fat, and sugar, the company is promising that the sales growth of products with ingredients like whole grains, fruits and vegetables will outpace that of the rest of PepsiCo’s products. It is also pledging to continue shrinking its environmental footprint, increase diversity in its global workforce, and encourage community development.