The plan is based on guidelines from the World Health Organization and other organizations, and PepsiCo has signed an agreement with PHA to independently verify, report, and share its progress towards achieving these goals, the company said in a press release.
Goals include making at least two-thirds of its global beverage portfolio to have 100 calories or fewer from added sugars per 12-oz serving; at least three-quarters of its global foods portfolio to not exceed 1.1 g of saturated fat per 100 calories; and at least three-quarters of its global foods portfolio to not exceed 1.3 mg of sodium per calorie.
CEO Indra Nooyi said the company will continue to place great emphasis on transforming its product portfolio “to meet changing consumer and societal needs.”
Collaborating with the private sector
The non-profit Partnership for a Healthier America was founded in 2010, in conjunction with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, to work with the private sector in tackling childhood obesity.
One example of a food and beverage company that has pledged product reformulation through PHA is Dannon, which first teamed up with the non-profit in 2014 and has made significant progress in improving the nutrient density of its overall portfolio and committed to a slew of reformulations to reduce sugar and fat in its products.
Partnerships with food manufacturers in the private sector are an important tool in combating childhood obesity, according to former First Lady: “Food companies are racing like never before to create healthier versions of their products. Even convenience stores are selling fruits and vegetables,” she told delegates at the PHA's inaugural summit.
Industry effort for more nutrient-dense, convenient food products
Through partnerships like this, manufacturers have cut an estimated 6.4 trillion calories from the US food supply chain through product reformulations and packaging changes, according to Margo Wootan, the director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
“But at the same time,” Wootan said, “When you look around still the majority of options on restaurants’ children’s menus are unhealthy” and in supermarkets the products displayed at eye level and in end caps “are often soda, chips and unhealthy food. Not the bananas and broccoli.”
“The deck is still stacked against people. They can eat well, but it takes a lot more effort and we need to teach them. We need to make it more possible for people to eat well on a regular basis when they want to,” she told FoodNavigator-USA in a previous interview.
Shifting this status quo is one reason PepsiCo credits for its commitment. "Our agenda for the next ten years includes ambitious goals to further improve the nutritional profile of our products and expand our range of wholesome and nutritious offerings,” Nooyi said.
“We are deeply committed to working to achieve these goals, and we welcome Partnership for a Healthier America's role in reporting on our progress."