How snack giant PepsiCo aims to grow in an era of health and wellness


psiCo hopes to help customers make better choices for themselves and for the planet. 

“We really believe that as one of the largest manufacturers in the food industry in Australia, we have a significant role in bringing ‘better for you’ snacking to consumers and need to be using our scale for good,” PepsiCo ANZ’s chief executive Kyle Faulconer told Inside Retail

“We’re launching a new brand called ‘Simply’, which is our first potato chip to achieve a 4.5 health star rating. Our R&D team has been working on it for over a year.” 

To achieve the health star rating, PepsiCo has had to change the way it normally does things. 

“The key is thinking differently around the ingredients, and we’ve [had to] think about how we reduce sodium,” he said. “How do you use all natural flavourings like all herbs and spices, and how do you make sure that elements like fibre come through to achieve some beneficial impacts?”

After months of trial and error, the team has developed a product that has 30 per cent less fat than a standard chip, and 40 per cent less sodium. 

Changing with the times

The shift in priorities comes alongside a broader societal movement towards healthy living, which picked up steam over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Faced with a global health crisis, many people have decided to put the health of their body, mind and family first, creating an emerging opportunity for snack foods to become more health-focused, while still delivering the added benefit of convenience. 

“The concept of people eating three meals a day has changed a bit, and there are actually more snacking opportunities throughout the day now, which is great for companies like PepsiCo,” Faulconer said.

“In the first year of the pandemic a lot of [snack purchases] were indulgent, but as people have thought more about their outlook moving forward, we’ve seen people move from sweet snacks to more savoury.”

Within the savoury snack market, there is a broader need for healthier options, which can be achieved by either formulating products to achieve a better health star rating, as in the case of Simply, or focusing on portion control with products such as multipacks.

Driving good

Beyond changing the ingredients it uses, PepsiCo is also committing to change the way its products are made. The business has announced a $40 million investment into its South Adelaide manufacturing facility which will focus on improving its ability to make ‘better for you’ products.

Plus, as part of its ‘PepsiCo Positive’ commitment, the company is focusing more on sourcing ingredients sustainably and using renewable energy to power its operations. PepsiCo has also begun using its brand power for positive purposes: such as using its Doritos brand to open conversations around mental health.

PepsiCo has partnered with, which provides young Australians with information and assistance when they are in need, and put information about the service on its packaging in an effort to help younger consumers, who are the main purchasers of the product, understand the options that are available to them if they’re feeling overwhelmed. 

“[ReachOut] is an amazing platform, and those are some of the areas that we’re really thinking about for the future – how do we leverage our scale to drive that good in the world?,” said Faulconer. 


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