PepsiCo is striving to align its products with consumer preferences while remaining responsive to advice from global health authorities. Our goal to reduce saturated fat in our convenient foods portfolio by 2025 means reformulating our existing products with more nutritious ingredients and introducing new products that are lower in saturated fat.
To the World:
Health authorities agree that reducing the consumption of saturated fat will help reduce the risk of heart disease in the global population.
Saturated fatty acids, a type of fat in which the fatty acid chains have all single bonds, occur naturally in many foods. While the main dietary sources are meat and dairy products, all fats and oils in the diet will contain a mixture of fatty acids including a proportion of saturated fatty acids. The current World Health Organization (WHO) dietary guidelines recommend that no more than 10% of total dietary energy intake be derived from saturated fat. For an average adult consuming 2000 kcal per day, this equates to a maximum of approximately 20g of saturated fat per day, or approximately 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 Calories.
Informed by these international guidelines and those of national health authorities, we have set a goal designed to help consumers reduce the amount of saturated fat in their diets. As we strive to reach our pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) ambitions, our goal is that by 2025, at least three quarters of our global foods portfolio sales volume will not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 Calories. Our goal is designed to shift a significant portion of our convenient foods portfolio towards lower saturated fat levels to make it easier for our consumers to follow WHO’s recommendation by offering more Positive Choices.
Our approach to managing saturated fat within our convenient foods portfolio is guided by PepsiCo’s Nutrition Criteria. These science-based category-specific criteria are based on recommendations for food and nutrient intake from leading global and national nutrition authorities including the WHO, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Academy of Medicine and national public health authorities.
To better meet both consumer needs and policy and regulatory requirements, we are applying saturated fat reduction and reformulation strategies to our convenient foods portfolio.
We are continually exploring different oils to enable us to reduce the level of saturated fat, while also allowing us to maintain our products’ great taste without compromising our product quality.
In addition to reformulation of existing products, we are also introducing new products with less saturated fat to support our delivery against our global goal. Our nutrition goals, including those on saturated fat, are primarily executed by our Research and Development team, who lead product development work. Nutrition ambitions are set by a broad cross functional group and approved at the Executive Committee level.
By the end of 2022, 75% of our convenient foods sales volume in our Top 23 markets (representing 86% of our global convenient foods sales volume) had saturated fat levels at or below 1.1 g per 100 Calories.1 Reaching our goal in 2021, in advance of the 2025 target year, is an exciting milestone, but we recognize that our work isn’t done. The deadly conflict in Ukraine has led to global shortages of healthier oils and we will need to continue working to find solutions to maintain the nutritional composition of our convenient foods. Additionally, changes to our portfolio resulting from acquisitions and divestitures may continue to impact our progress.
As we strive to reduce saturated fat in our products, we have made progress, yet faced challenges along the way.
In 2021, we reached our saturated fat reduction goal in advance of the 2025 target year. While this was an exciting milestone, we recognize that our work isn't done.
The deadly conflict in Ukraine has led to global shortages of healthier oils, and we will need to continue working to find solutions to maintain the nutritional composition of our convenient foods.
We have also formed an agreement with Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), an organization that works with the private sector to help improve the health of youth in the United States by addressing childhood obesity, to conduct an independent review of our progress against our saturated fat goal. The first year of this review was conducted in relation to 2016 data. In the most recent review, covering 2022 SKU level data of products in our Top 23 global convenient foods markets, PHA confirmed the accuracy of our calculations and the reliability of the methodology we use to make those calculations. We plan to continue conducting independent reviews of the data and methodology, in order to continue to drive transparency around this important goal.
The lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, paired with the deadly conflict in Ukraine, has increased pressure on food poverty and diet quality. Additionally, the conflict is expected to continue to impact the availability of healthier oils produced from commodities sourced from Russia and/or Ukraine. PepsiCo anticipates that efforts will continue unabated within the food industry to improve the nutritional quality of products and to support consumers in making Positive Choices.