There is only so much one company—even one as large and influential as PepsiCo—can do alone. We believe that by joining forces with partners across many sectors, we can make a far greater impact on the health and nutritional challenges we face as a global society.
In 2010, for example, we championed a coordinated approach within the World Economic Forum (WEF) and, in partnership with some of the world's foremost thinkers in these key areas, called for governments and corporations to embrace an integrated approach to sustainable development and nutrition.
We also invested $4.7 million in initiatives to promote healthier communities, including enhancing diet and physical activity programs in 2010, through a combination of PepsiCo Foundation grants and corporate contributions.
PepsiCo's chairman and CEO, Indra K. Nooyi, is currently chair of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), a national effort designed to help reduce obesity—especially childhood obesity—by 2015. It's a first-of-its-kind coalition that brings together more than 150 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, trade associations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and professional sports organizations.
The HWCF is trying to help consumers lead healthier lives by offering healthier nutrition options and helping them make energy balance—calories in balanced with calories out—a daily habit. The HWCF works toward this goal by increasing access to and opportunities for physical activity, providing healthier nutrition options and raising awareness of the energy balance approach in the marketplace, in workplaces and in schools.
For more information on our partnership with HWCF, please go to PepsiCo Foundation.
PepsiCo launched "Food for Good" in Dallas, Texas, in 2009, to increase access in inner-city communities to affordable nutrition and to create local employment.
During the summer of 2010, Food for Good's flagship initiative—a summer mobile feeding program that delivers healthy meals to children who otherwise depend on meals from school during the year—served more than 320,000 healthy meals, engaged more than 10,000 children in physical activities, and created more than 100 jobs in Dallas and Chicago. This innovative program is made possible through partnerships between PepsiCo, nonprofit organizations, and federal and state governments.
The program has also created a training and recruiting platform in Dallas. In fact, seven Food for Good drivers have since been hired by Frito-Lay. Partnering with low-income communities, Food for Good even introduced a "franchise farm stand" business model to address the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in areas characterized as "urban food deserts."
To help eliminate malnutrition, PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation are involved in several targeted initiatives:
For more detailed information on the activities of the PepsiCo Foundation, see link.
PepsiCo is working to develop commercially successful products to meet nutritional deficiencies in local populations. For example, as part of PepsiCo's Project Asha (which means "hope" in Sanskrit), our R&D team developed two Iron EDTA and vitamin-fortified products, with locally relevant flavors. The products provide an important source of iron and vitamins relevant to addressing anemia, which is probably the single largest micronutrient deficiency in the world and which is linked to brain and physical development. Both products deliver 50 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamins B2, B12 and Folate, and 25 percent of the RDA of Iron EDTA. The products are priced at 2 rupees, a price point significantly lower than our typical products in the region.
Project Asha officially launched in March 2011 with a pilot project in two cities in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, where seven out of 10 adolescent girls suffer from iron-deficiency. One of the products being tested is Iron Chusti, a fortified biscuit containing iron and micronutrients. Each package of Iron Chusti is equivalent to five bundles of spinach. Through extensive consumer research with women and girls in the region, the Innovation team collected overwhelming evidence of a low level of awareness of iron-deficiency anemia and its causes. As such, Project Asha incorporates awareness building and behavior modification through simple and inspirational education.
PepsiCo has made a strong commitment to invest in Africa, pairing commercial and social objectives to help develop emerging markets. Specifically, we are committed to growing our existing business in South Africa, expanding business in other key countries in sub-Saharan Africa and supporting agriculture-based social business development in Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia, the PepsiCo Foundation is supporting the World Food Programme and a local NGO to develop and pilot a chickpea-based supplementary food for children in 2011/2012.
We are also working with USAID to develop a plan to support strategic improvements in the agricultural production of chickpea and along the supply chain. This work is expected to benefit small-holder farmers who currently grow chickpea as a secondary crop, but consume it largely in their homes. With improvements in production, storage, cleaning and distribution, farmers would be in a position to derive almost twice the value they are currently getting from their chickpea crop. Chickpea is a nitrogen-fixing legume that is ideal for rotation with cereal crops. Highly nutritious and versatile, chickpea is an ingredient in main meals, spreads, breads, biscuits, crackers, and extruded snacks, and is a promising business venture and a viable way to help improve Ethiopia's food security.
In addition to malnutrition programs, PepsiCo and PepsiCo Foundation are also helping people in need gain access to clean water around the globe through several initiatives, including partnerships with such organizations as WaterHope (Philippines), Safe Water Network Impact (Ghana, India and Kenya) and Water.org's WaterCredit initiative (India).
Good nutrition is only one part of maintaining optimal health: the other part is regular physical activity. That's why we support programs that use simple steps to encourage people to be more active. These programs include:
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