PepsiCo ‘spots’ its healthier products

PepsiCo, which has been developing healthier products for some time through both product development and acquisition, recently unveiled the Smart Spot symbol, designed to help U.S. consumers identify more than 100 of the company's food and beverage choices “that contribute to healthier lifestyles.”

The Smart Spot logo was to begin appearing nationally Sept. 1 on brands such as Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, Quaker and Diet Pepsi. The bright green spot will be in the front, lower right corner of packaging, with the back of these packages explaining why the product earned the Smart Spot designation.

"Consumers have told us they want simple, clear and positive information to help them identify and consume food and beverage choices that contribute to healthier lifestyles," said Steve Reinemund, chairman and CEO of the Purchase, N.Y.-based company, which is no longer content to be known as a soft drink-and-chips marketer. "The Smart Spot symbol is another step in our long-term efforts to improve product choices and encourage healthier lifestyles."

Products carrying Smart Spot meet nutrition criteria based on authoritative statements from the FDA and the National Academy of Sciences. “The Smart Spot criteria represent consensus opinion among numerous health and nutrition experts, based on credible nutrition science,” a PepsiCo source noted.

Criteria include limits on the amount of fat - including saturated and trans fats - cholesterol, sodium and added sugar. The symbol flags products that have been reformulated to reduce negative ingredients, such as fat or sugar, or to add health or wellness benefits. The Smart Spot also identifies products that are nutritious and contribute fiber, vitamins and other important nutrients.

Currently, more than half of PepsiCo's new product revenues are coming from Smart Spot products, the company reported. Going forward, PepsiCo is committed to have at least half of its new U.S. products qualify for the Smart Spot symbol.

PepsiCo also is promoting active lifestyles by being a National Presenting Sponsor for America on the Move, a program that recommends small changes to achieve energy balance. PepsiCo and America on the Move are launching Balance First, educational materials that teach children how to balance calories consumed with calories used. The Balance First lesson plans will reach 2.5 million elementary school children this fall.

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