PepsiCo continues to develop its portfolio of choices to respond to consumer demands related to health and wellness based on internal guidance aligned with advice from global health authorities.
To the World:
Global and many national dietary guidelines recommend reducing added or free sugars consumption as one aspect of a more comprehensive approach to overall health and wellness. The World Health Organization recommends people consume no more than 25 grams of free sugars per day.
As part of our pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) ambition, our aim is to reduce added sugars across our beverage portfolio and offer more Positive Choices for consumers. The approach we take varies from market-to-market and brand-to-brand, reflecting differences in consumer expectations and regulatory requirements. We therefore tailor our strategy to meet the needs of local markets and consumers.
We have set a goal to achieve 100 Calories or fewer from added sugars per 12 fluid ounce serving in at least 67% of our beverage portfolio by volume by 2025. Our goal is designed to shift a significant portion of our beverage portfolio towards lower added sugars levels that will help consumers to follow dietary recommendations. We are doing this by expanding our portfolio of zero- and lower-sugar beverages across the world.
Our two-pronged strategy to accomplish this is based on reformulating our existing beverages to reduce added sugars and innovating to develop new products that are significantly lower added sugars. Since 2016, a cross-functional team, including Research and Development, Marketing, and Commercialization, has worked together to manage our progress towards our added sugars goal.
For several of our core global brands, we are expanding the number of markets in which our zero- and lower-sugar beverages are available. In 2022, Pepsi Zero Sugar (known as Pepsi Black or Pepsi MAX in international markets) was available in 110 markets.
At the end of 2022, we were almost 80% of the way toward our 2025 targets in reducing added sugars, with consistent growth of low and zero sugar beverages as a portion of our portfolio. In 2022, we’ve continued the expansion of our no sugar portfolio beyond carbonated soft drinks: no-sugar Gatorade was expanded from 18 markets in 2020 to 20 markets in 2022; and no-sugar Rockstar expanded from 9 markets in 2021 to 15 markets in 2022.
COVID-19 has reemphasized the importance of overall good health in the body's ability to both resist and cope with infectious disease. Our continued focus on providing consumers with improved nutrition choices will enable them to better choose a healthy diet.
We continued our reformulation journey in 2022, replacing full-sugar beverages with lower-sugar formulations in 41 markets. Since 2016, we have reformulated products, including 7UP, Mountain Dew and Mirinda recipes with 30-50% less added sugars, with plans to continue in 2023. In our biggest market in Latin America, Mexico, 98% of our beverage volume already has lower sugar content. We also continued expanding Sodastream, which contributes to both our added sugars reduction goals and sustainable packaging agenda.
By the end of 2022, 56% of our beverage volume in our Top 26 global markets was in line with our goal of providing no more than 100 Calories from added sugars per 12 ounce serving. This is an improvement from 53% at the end of 2021. Our global progress is based on our Top 26 Beverage markets, which represent 78% of our global beverage volume as of 2022.
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 added sugars goal.
The first year of this review was conducted in relation to 2016 data. Most recently, this review looked at 2022 SKU level data of products in our Top 26 global markets and confirmed the accuracy of our calculations and the reliability of the methodology. We plan to continue to partner to execute independent reviews of our data analysis and reporting in order to drive transparency around this important goal.
As we continue to pursue our added sugars reduction goal, we expect to focus on the following priorities to further transform our portfolio:
- Further reformulation of core carbonated soft drinks in our biggest international markets
- Acceleration and expansion of our zero and low-sugar portfolio, including new flavors of Pepsi Zero Sugar/MAX, 7UP Zero and Lipton Zero
- Further geographic expansion of PepsiCo no- and low-sugar flavored soda mixes, for fountain and other products
- Introduction of additional zero and low-sugar product innovations (for example, launching Bubly in Australia and some additional markets)
PepsiCo anticipates that efforts will continue unabated within the beverage industry to improve the nutritional quality of products and to support consumers in making Positive Choices.