PepsiCo hopes to launch new plant-based snacks and drinks made under its joint venture with Beyond Meat by early 2022.
“This is just the start of what I think is going to be a game-changing joint venture,” Pepsi CEO Ramon Laguarta told CNBC’s Sara Eisen.
Pepsi and Beyond announced the joint venture, called The PLANeT Partnership, in January. The partnership gives Beyond, a newcomer to the food world, a chance to leverage Pepsi’s production and marketing expertise for new products. For its part, Pepsi can deepen its investments in plant-based categories – which are increasingly crowded – while working with one of the leading creators of meat substitutes. It also helps Pepsi meet its sustainability and health goals for its portfolio.
Earlier Wednesday, Pepsi announced a new initiative called “Pep +” which aims to change the company’s operations, with sustainability as a focal point. The food and beverage giant’s goals include reducing its use of plastic, accelerating plans to reduce sodium and added sugars in its products, and spreading regenerative farming practices. Pepsi has also said it is incorporating more diverse ingredients, particularly chickpeas, vegetable protein and whole grains, which may end up in Pepsi’s potato chip portfolio.
Ramon Laguarta, president and CEO of PepsiCo Inc., represents a photo before the closing bell ceremony at a remote site of Nasdaq Inc. in Atlanta, Ga. On Friday, February 1, 2019.
Elie Nouvelage | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Sustainability is also influencing Pepsi’s plans to return to the office. Laguarta said the company is following a more flexible model, with company employees only returning to office buildings a few days a week or month.
“Don’t come to the office to make phone calls or write emails,” he said on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” show. “It’s a waste. It’s a lot of commuting, a waste of personal time, unnecessary pollution.”
Pepsi shares closed less than 1% on Wednesday. The stock has risen 5% this year, giving it a market value of $ 216 billion. Shares of Beyond Meat closed up less than 1%, bringing the company’s market value to $ 7 billion. Beyond’s stock has fallen 11% this year.