PepsiCo's Racial Equality Journey Black Initiative Progress Update

A Message from Our CEO

Ramon Laguarta Headshot

Our company has long understood and embraced the value of diversity, equity and inclusion, both for our business and our society. But after the world witnessed what happened to George Floyd—and began to reckon with the harsh realities experienced by Black and Brown people long before him—everything changed. We knew we had to step up our efforts, and we saw a unique opportunity to use our size and scale to have a positive influence far beyond our walls.

At PepsiCo, we recognize that to compete, grow, and win in the 21st century, we have both the opportunity and responsibility to use our size and scale to ensure the society we serve flourishes equitably.

We began by committing more than $400 million over five years to help create equal opportunities for Black Americans, focused on three strategic pillars: People, Business, and Communities.

I am proud that PepsiCo remains one of a few companies that committed to address inequities in Black and Hispanic communities with concrete targets to effect meaningful and transformational change. Today, as we approach the one-year anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s death and the launch of our Racial Equality Journey, I wanted to share some highlights of our progress.


We’re on track to increase our Black managerial population to 10% of our workforce to mirror workforce availability of the communities where we work, including adding 100 Black associates to our executive ranks by 2025.

  • As of Q1 2021, we've increased our Black managerial representation to 8%, including adding 28 Black associates to our executive ranks.


We’re making important progress toward our goal of investing $50 million over five years to strengthen Black-owned businesses and more than double our spend with Black-owned suppliers with an incremental spend of $350 million by 2025.

  • The Pepsi Dig In initiative is committed to investing $11.4 million to support local Black-owned restaurants by the end of 2021, with $5.8 million already dispersed. Since September 2020, Pepsi Dig In has directly benefited more than 8,000 restaurants.
  • The PepsiCo Foundation partnered with the National Urban League to launch the Black Restaurant Accelerator Program. Through a $10 million grant, we will help provide Black restaurateurs in 12 cities across the U.S. with access to capital, training, mentorship, and other services needed to run a successful business.
  • We’ve expanded our existing Black supplier base and are on track to grow our spend by more than $28 million incrementally in 2021.


We reached a milestone in our plan to expand our existing two-year/trade certificate Community College Scholarship program and establish scholarship support for Black students transitioning from 2-year to 4-year programs.

  • In March, PepsiCo and The PepsiCo Foundation announced plans to invest $40 million in scholarships and professional mentoring programs to support Black and Hispanic community college students. Already launched in Dallas, Westchester, Houston, and Chicago, The Foundation will expand the program to 16 additional cities in the Fall and aims to support 2,000 Black students over five years.
  • Our S.M.I.L.E. (Success Matters in Life & Education) initiative has awarded scholarships to 25 students—nearly half of whom are Black—to help them transition from 2-year to 4-year colleges and universities. Recipients include Renee King, who worked full-time to attend City Colleges of Chicago and will transition to the University of Illinois at Chicago to major in Cellular and Molecular Biology, and James Gibbs, a math enthusiast also worked full-time to attend Westchester Community College, and will transition to Fordham University in the Fall to continue his studies in Math.

This measurable success is a testament to all of you. I am so proud of the way this team has embraced our individual and collective responsibility to drive the change we need within PepsiCo, among our partners, and in our communities.

Let’s remember: whilst we are proud of what we’ve achieved, we cannot act as if the work is done. Looking ahead, we will have a Day of Understanding on June 4 and other events leading up to Juneteenth, providing opportunities to continue this critical dialogue, reflect on our progress and recommit to our Journey. And as we approach the one-year anniversary of our Hispanic Racial Equality Journey in the Fall, we look forward to releasing an update on our actions to advance this critical agenda.

We still have a long way to go, but I am excited about our momentum, and I am certain that we are on the right path. As we take the next steps forward, we will keep listening—to leaders, communities and all of you—and acting with purpose and speed. When we continue to elevate diverse voices, we help create the conditions for people, businesses and communities to thrive together.


PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta Signature
See our Racial Equality Journey
Black Initiative
REJ Black Commitments
See our Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative
REJ Hispanic Commitments