Today’s news that the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation has exceeded its goal of reducing 1.5 trillion calories in the marketplace marks significant progress in the effort to curb obesity and encourage healthy lifestyles. (Read the announcement here.)
It also demonstrates the important role companies must play as part of the solution. No single company, government or NGO can possibly address these issues alone. Solutions require a comprehensive, collaborative approach that unites the public and private sectors behind a set of common goals. Working together, we can continue to achieve meaningful results.
PepsiCo has long recognized the role of industry in achieving solutions. In 2006 we set forth Performance with Purpose, which is our vision to succeed in the long term by creating sustained value. We’ve consistently delivered on the promise of Performance with Purpose ever since, and our continued progress is evident in the steps we’ve taken to transform our product portfolio in ways that offer consumers the wide range of choices they’re looking for.
We have launched new snacks baked with lower fat content, products that deliver more whole grains, and beverages with fewer or zero calories and less sugar. We now offer reduced-calorie options for almost every drink we make – and 49% our U.S. beverage volume in 2012 was comprised of low- or no-calorie soft drinks, active hydration beverages, and juice.
At the same time, we have made moves to migrate our product portfolio towards high-growth categories and built a strong global nutrition business that represented 20% of the company’s net revenues in 2012. Next week, for example, our U.S. joint venture with Germany’s Theo Muller Group will open a new yogurt manufacturing plant in Batavia, N.Y., a key part of our plans to expand into dairy and protein.
Underpinning all of this has been sustained investment in our research and development capabilities to drive continued innovation across our business. We’ve built a tremendous team and a global network of R&D centers around the world. We opened three new R&D facilities in 2012 alone: a baking innovation center in Monterrey, Mexico; a fruit and vegetable center in Hamburg, Germany; and food and beverage center in Shanghai, China.
And we’ve done these things while also implementing global policies that restrict marketing to children, remove full-sugar beverages from schools, and provide clear nutrition labeling.
All of these things demonstrate the positive role companies like PepsiCo can play. But this is not a victory lap, and there remains much work to be done. Continued progress will not only require the continued commitment of individual companies, but also collaborative public-private partnerships geared toward encouraging healthy lifestyles. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is a great example of the progress that can be achieved. The sum of our collective actions far outweighs the impact any single entity can make on its own, and we will continue to play our part in this broader effort.