- PepsiCo is introducing an organic version of Gatorade next year, which could be a major change, as the product currently contains sucralose and bears an artificial-looking neon color. The brand already includes certain natural ingredients and flavors.
- The company is also pushing healthier versions of its beverage and Frito-Lay products with a vending machine makeover under its new Hello Goodness brand, which will include products like Naked Juice, Lays Oven Baked chips, and Sabra hummus cups.
- Vending machines saw a 1% drop in U.S. sales to $4.5 billion in 2014, according to Euromonitor International, with some vending operators reporting 30% to 40% sales declines, Vending Market Watch reported. Long associated with unhealthy snacks, businesses and schools in particular have begun phasing out vending machines in recent years, so PepsiCo hopes to turn that perception around with new offerings.
PepsiCo has made a number of changes in an attempt to appeal to the growing number of health-conscious consumers who are leaving soda and foods deemed less healthy behind. The company has put an emphasis on non-soda drinks, such as ready-to-drink tea, and replaced aspartame with sucralose in Diet Pepsi, though the new taste has been met with criticism.
Earlier this week, PepsiCo announced it would begin labeling Tropicana products with the Non-GMO Project seal, though this move has drawn criticism because all products made from 100% orange juice are inherently non-GMO, since oranges are not genetically modified.
The decline of vending machines impacts PepsiCo in terms of both beverages and snacks with its Frito-Lay portfolio, so revamping vending machines to suit healthier tastes could be one way to salvage those falling sales.
Organic Gatorade is another way for PepsiCo to tap the health-conscious consumer demographic, though how PepsiCo will go about reformulating the product is up for speculation. Last year, PepsiCo discontinued two Gatorade varieties, Gatorade Naturals and G2 Naturals, which the company had sold in limited outlets, including Whole Foods, due to disappointing sales.
With sports drinks and other athlete-based products becoming a growing trend in the U.S. today, this segment is an important one for PepsiCo while its soda sales continue to slip, especially considering Gatorade corners more than three-quarters of the U.S. sports drinks market per estimates. Gatorade referred to itself as a "sports fuel company" in a recent spot that wrapped up the brand's 50th anniversary campaign.