PURCHASE, N.Y., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, today expressed its commitment to the White House's "Let's Move" initiative to combat childhood obesity – and announced a new beverage labeling plan in support of the initiative.
To help consumers manage their calorie consumption, PepsiCo will list calorie content on the front of its beverage containers, vending machines and fountain equipment by the end of 2012. Packages up to 20 ounces will be labeled with total calories and multi-serve containers will be labeled with calories-per-serving based on 12-ounce servings.
"We applaud the effort being led by First Lady Michelle Obama to address obesity in the United States and believe that her 'Let's Move' campaign can add significant momentum and leadership to many efforts underway," said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer. "We have learned over the years there is no silver bullet to solve obesity. No single entity can do it alone. We need a guiding coalition in which individuals, companies, health agencies, consumer groups and governments all take on their appropriate responsibilities. Major food companies such as PepsiCo are in a unique position to be leaders in health and wellness because of our resources, brands, research and development capabilities, consumer reach and logistics expertise."
PepsiCo's belief in the power of public-private partnerships to help reduce obesity in the United States led to its partnership in the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF). The HWCF involves the collaboration of more than 60 members of the food and beverage industry, retailers and diverse non-governmental organizations. The group provides and promotes solutions that will help people, especially children, achieve a healthy weight by balancing the calories they consume with the calories they burn. The HWCF's efforts will provide people with the tools to achieve energy balance in three key areas: the marketplace, the workplace and schools.
PepsiCo is committed to helping advance action on all four pillars identified by the First Lady and has already taken steps that address each of them:
1. Ensuring that affordable healthy food is available in more communities
Last year, PepsiCo launched "PepsiCo Hope" to help transform inner-city communities by increasing access to affordable nutrition and creating local employment in inner-city neighborhoods. Initiated by PepsiCo employees in Dallas, the program piloted an innovative mobile delivery model that brought over 50,000 free nutritious breakfasts and snacks directly to underserved children in Dallas. With the help of more than 150 PepsiCo volunteers, the program was developed in partnership with Central Dallas Ministries as part of the Department of Agriculture's Summer Foodservice Program. PepsiCo plans to significantly expand its capabilities in Dallas in 2010 and is exploring opportunities for national expansion while sharing what it has learned with other cities across the country. PepsiCo Hope is also beginning to tackle another chronic challenge identified by the local residents: improving access to fruits and vegetables.
PepsiCo also has offered solutions for managing calories by changing product formulations and package sizes:
- Calorie reduction: Frito-Lay has removed 59 billion calories from its 99-cent and $1.29 single-serve bags since 2007.
- Reformulation: PepsiCo recently launched SoBe Life Water, the first zero-calorie, naturally sweetened, vitamin-enhanced water with PureVia, a natural sweetener made from the stevia plant. The company also introduced Tropicana Trop 50, which offers the benefits of orange juice with 50% less sugar and calories, also with PureVia. Gatorade launched G2, a low-calorie sports drink that delivers functional hydration. PepsiCo also was the first major food company to remove trans fats from its snack chips. Today, Frito-Lay snack chips are made with healthier oils, such as sunflower oil.
- Portion size: Frito-Lay offers 100-calorie packs, singles and multi-packs of its most popular products. In 2006, Quaker Oats introduced 90-calorie packs of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars and Quaker Granola Bites.
2. Giving parents the information they need to make good choices for themselves and their families
PepsiCo has long practiced responsible advertising, including adherence to the Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice. The company acknowledges that children, as a potentially vulnerable group of consumers, deserve greater attention. In 2007 in the U.S., PepsiCo was a founding member of the Children's Food & Beverage Initiative, an industry self-regulatory organization which is operated by an affiliate of the Better Business Bureau. PepsiCo pledged to advertise only products which meet certain nutrition criteria to children under 12. The criteria are among the strictest within the industry and are based on international and national guidelines from organizations such as the World Health Organization. PepsiCo updates its pledge each year and CFBAI monitors and reports on compliance by all member companies with their pledge every year.
3. Increasing the number of "healthy schools" where kids have access to nutritious food
PepsiCo has embraced the U.S. School Beverage and Competitive Foods Guidelines which were developed by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint venture of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The snack guidelines for K-12 schools include restrictions on calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium. The beverage guidelines require that all full-calorie soft drinks be removed from K-12 schools and replaced with lower-calorie and smaller-portioned drinks. By implementing these guidelines, PepsiCo and its industry partners will ship more than 70 percent fewer beverage calories to schools in 2010 as compared to 2004.
4. Providing more opportunities for kids to be physically active
PepsiCo's Gatorade brand works on numerous levels to encourage physical activity to reduce or prevent childhood obesity:
- Gatorade provides active sports opportunities to over 500,000 kids through support of sports summer camps at 60+ universities across the country in every sport.
- In 2010, Gatorade will celebrate its 25th year recognizing the nation's top student athletes through the Player of the Year/Athlete of the Year program. The program recognizes hundreds of student athletes annually who display athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.
- Gatorade's sponsorship of the Women's Sports Foundation provides $100,000 in grants for the Go Girl Go program, which creates opportunities for girls to participate in sports and physical activity.
PepsiCo has partnered with the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) for more than a decade on initiatives that improve the lives of children and families all over the country. PepsiCo has provided support for numerous YMCA Activate America initiatives, including YMCA Healthy Kids Day. This annual grassroots community event, hosted each year by more than 1,700 YMCAs, encourages kids and their families to pursue healthy lifestyles. PepsiCo Foundation funding also has helped Y-USA launch the African American and Hispanic/Latino Health & Well-being Collaborative. This is a three-year pilot designed to make YMCAs more supportive of healthy lifestyles for people in these communities. PepsiCo also joined Y-USA in the Partnership for Play Every Day Alliance which seeks to increase the number of youth participating in at least 60 minutes of quality physical activity daily through programs before, during and after the school day.
The PepsiCo Foundation funds the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), a network of nonprofits which comprises the largest obesity prevention network in the country. CLOCC, which is administered under the Center for Obesity Management & Prevention at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, collaborates with Chicago Communities in Schools on the Healthy Foods: Healthy Moves program. This program delivers effective prevention programs to improve healthy living for children, families, schools and communities across Chicago. This program intends to mobilize Chicago-area community structures and organizations in a coordinated, city-wide effort to raise awareness of how to achieve healthy lifestyles.
- Healthy Foods: Healthy Moves brings together various community based assets to effect changes in nutrition, physical activity, knowledge and behavior. It works to mobilize networks of community partners and schools through youth ambassadors to promote a single message around healthy lifestyles: "5-4-3-2-1 Go!" The 5-4-3-2-1 Go! message is part of a social marketing campaign to promote healthy lifestyle choices for children. It represents 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 4 servings of water a day, 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day, 2 or less hours of screen time a day, and 1 or more hours of physical activity a day.
- The 5-4-3-2-1 Go! message and campaign was approved by the Chicago Department of Health and gained city-wide support as the single message to be conveyed across all health promotion efforts to engage children and families in achieving healthier habits. The project embraces the notion that community coordination is essential in any effort to address and prevent an epidemic as critical as childhood obesity. The Healthy Foods: Healthy Moves model has been replicated in four cities to date.
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses - Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade - also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries. With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. PepsiCo is recognized on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North American Indexes. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.
SOURCE PepsiCo, Inc.