When most of us hear Pepsi, we think of soda. But PepsiCo—one of the largest food and drink companies in North America, which also owns brands like Lay’s, Cheetos, and Doritos—clearly knows a thing or two about snacks, too. And thanks to its new initiative, its lineup is getting a lot more sustainable.
Earlier this year, PepsiCo entered the planet-friendly snacking space with its joint venture with Beyond Meat called The PLANeT Partnership. In it, Beyond Meat will help PepsiCo become more sustainable, and PepsiCo will help Beyond Meat reach a wider audience. Plant-based snacks and drinks created through this venture could be coming as soon as early 2022.
This week, PepsiCo also announced its new initiative, “Pep+” (Pep Positive). Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo’s chairman and CEO, says it’s the future of the company and “puts sustainability at the center of how they will create growth and value.” Everything from the products to their packaging will be re-imagined.
“For example, imagine Lay’s will start with a potato grown sustainably on a regenerative field, and then be cooked and delivered from a net-zero and net water positive supply chain, sold in a bio-compostable bag, with the lowest sodium levels in the market,” he says. “That’s a positive choice. That’s the best tasting, number one potato chip of the future. That’s how Pep+ will be better for people, for the planet, and for our business.”
According to Laguarta, there are numerous ways Pep+ will better the company. That includes positive agriculture (think regenerative practices and sustainably sourced crops and ingredients), a positive value chain (building a circular and inclusive value chain with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2040 and becoming net water positive by 2030), and using more sustainable packaging (cutting down its virgin plastic use).
PepsiCo also plans on using more planet-friendly ingredients, like chickpeas, plant-based proteins, and whole grains. A fully compostable bag made with plant-based materials is also being introduced with Off The Eaten Path, one of Frito-Lay’s plant-based brands. It will be available at Whole Foods beginning this month.
PepsiCo isn’t the only snack company that has made sustainable changes recently. This year, Chobani launched Fair Trade Certified yogurts and replaced some of its plastic cups with 80% paperboard. Then there’s Nestle, which launched recyclable packaging for Smarties.
Not only does this mean snacking is becoming more sustainable, but it also means major companies are beginning to heed consumers’ calls for more sustainable products. And we can’t wait to see which of our go-to products get a sustainable makeover next.
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