Beyond the bottle: PepsiCo promotes packaging-free beverages
The 2019 Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference has just ended, after a five day full agenda of collegial forums, aimed at facilitating the dialogue between investors and industry executives, as well as sharing the most cutting edge insights among analysts, management teams and media.
The program, which featured speeches held by major market players, included the presentation of PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta, who has made his first appearance at the conference following his promotion to the role in 2018.
The presentation, which follows last week’s release of the company’s Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2018 results as well as a 2019 financial outlook, focused on PepsiCo’s performance and strategy, with consumers at the heart of innovations.
Regarding the company’s beverage portfolio, the CEO explained how it was built and how it gets constantly renovated in order to meet the ever-changing customers’ needs: “we cover indulgent occasions, we cover nutritious occasions. We cover personal. We cover hydration. We cover a lot of different occasions. We have beautiful brands and we have solutions for many different need states.”
Regarding how PepsiCo is investing in “new spaces of consumption” and sustainability, Laguarta revealed about their intent of creating a beyond-the-bottle space, in which they aim at eliminating the need for bottles, plastic and everything else involved in packaging. As an example, he has mentioned the recent acquisition of SodaStream International, the Israeli company that produces a carbonated-drink machine that meets the needs of more health- and environmentally-conscious consumers looking to use less plastic and drink less soda.
Before stepping down last year, former Chief Executive Indra Nooyi explained how the purchase fits in the company’s sustainability push, which involves the production of healthier goods, the focus on decreasing the waste and a more efficient use of the planet’s resources.
Following this vision, PepsiCo has also recently launched Drinkfinity, a Miami based start up that produces flavoured pods that transform consumers’ water into their favourite drink, with no artificial flavours or sweeteners, which the market is getting every day more away from.
Laguarta, who has spent 22 years in the company before becoming CEO and Chairman, also shared with the CAGNY 2019 audience how PepsiCo will focus on becoming a better company. A company that integrates its commercial strategies with a view to make an impact in the planet: “the SodaStream acquisition is a clear example of how we want to connect our commercial strategy with our purpose. So SodaStream allows us to improve the use of – or reduce the use of plastic. […]
“This four areas where we want to make a difference, making a sustainable agriculture, reduce the water consumption that make actually positive water impact, creating a circular packaging economy and then obviously continue the improvement of our products reducing salt, reducing fat and reducing sugar. So those are the kind of long-term strategies that will feed our long-term value creation.”
The “Beyond the bottle” campaign mentioned in the CEO’s speech also includes Aquafina Water Station, an innovative “water fountain” enabling consumers to dispense customized flavoured still or sparkling water into refillable personal containers. The machines, unveiled by PepsiCo at 2018 edition of National Automatic Merchandising Association Show in Las Vegas, as well as Pepsi Spire, the digital fountain that allows consumers to give life to hundreds of different customized beverages, contribute to the company’s development of a broad spectrum of hydration solutions designed to meet the modern customers’ needs.
Last, but not least, PepsiCo Foundation announced last July a $10 million investment with the Recycling Partnership to launch All In On Recycling, the largest ever industry-wide residential recycling challenge to make recycling easier for 25 million families across the United States, providing them with the resources they need to recycle more and recycle better.
Those programs show one example of how the drinks industry is taking significant steps at building a sustainable plan, which promotes environmental awareness and ethical changes.
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