PepsiCo sees growth from “guilt-free” items like Baked Lay’s
NEW YORK >> What do Baked Lay’s potato chips, Simply Tostitos chips and Diet Mountain Dew have in common? They’re all “guilt-free,” according to how PepsiCo categorizes them.
In reporting higher global sales Wednesday, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi reiterated in a call with Wall Street analysts that 45 percent of the company’s revenue now comes from such “guilt-free” products. The figure underscores how food makers are trying to position themselves to keep pace with the shift toward the wholesome options they say people want.
There’s debate about what’s consider healthful among consumers. And ideas about it can change. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration said it is re-evaluating its guidelines for when companies can use the term “healthy” on packaging to reflect the latest science. The maker of Kind fruit and nut bars, which had been warned about its use of the term, had said the agency’s definition is outdated.
PepsiCo Inc., the maker of Doritos, Tropicana and Gatorade, considers in the guilt-free category products with “positive” ingredients such as grains, fruits and vegetables. That would include its Naked beverages, a few varieties of which have more than 400 calories and 50 grams of sugar from fruits per bottle, and Quaker products, such as the “breakfast cookie” which has 180 calories, 6 grams of fat and 14 grams of sugar.
Drinks with less than 70 calories per 12-ounce serving are also part of that same category, as are snacks with less saturated fat or sodium than their regular counterparts.
Though PepsiCo Inc. doesn’t stamp its packages with the “guilt-free” label it uses with Wall Street, the idea comes through in product names like “simply” and “baked” and in how they’re generally marketed.