PepsiCo (PEP) is getting healthy in 2016.
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The second largest food and beverage business in the world is changing their tune and are offering consumers more “good-and better-for-you choices" and featuring Non-GMO labels on some of their products.
Their first order of business is cleaning up their vending machines. PepsiCo announced plans for a new state-of-the-art food and beverage vending initiative called “Hello Goodness,” which offers consumers healthier choices for on-the-go.
"Consumers want more choices when it comes to what they eat and drink on-the-go and we're providing the choices they want," said Kirk Tanner, Chief Operating Officer, PepsiCo North America Beverages. "For years, PepsiCo has been transforming its portfolio to offer more and better food and beverages.”
The new vending machine will ditch the sugary soda and offer brands such as Naked Juice, Smartfood Delight popcorn, Lay’s Oven Baked potato chips, Quaker Real Medleys bars, Pure Leaf iced tea, and even Sabra’s Ready-to-Eat Hummus cups.
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The company plans to place several thousand units throughout the U.S. in 2016, which will be located at select healthcare, transportation, recreational, governmental, and educational facilities.
“Hello Goodness” will also go beyond the traditional vending machine by offering a digital point-of-sale touch screen with the product’s nutritional information as well as dual climate-control shelving that allows both perishable and non-perishable items to be easily stored together at the correct temperature.
And what happens if you can’t decide what you want? The machine can even give you suggestions depending on the time of day. All purchases will be recorded and sent back to PepsiCo so the company can tailor the offered products to each location.
But the buck doesn’t stop there.
Some of PepsiCo products including Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice will also carry a Non-GMO Project seal in 2016.
The butterfly seal is approved by a nonprofit group that verifies products as being free of any genetically engineered ingredients.
“Tropicana consumers care about non-GMO ingredients and they want more information to help them make the choices that are right for them. It’s important for us to reassure them that Tropicana Pure Premium is – and always has been – non-GMO," a PepsiCo spokesperson tells FOXBusiness.com.
The decision has received some backlash in the media as PepsiCo has been one of the biggest opponents of GMO labelling.
"PepsiCo is being completely disingenuous by choosing to label a handful of products ‘GMO free’ while refusing to let consumers know which of its other products contain GMOs. Worse, the company has spent $9 million over the past two years on campaigns to fight state mandatory GMO-labeling, as well as more than $11 million lobbying Congress to pass legislation to block these state efforts and prevent FDA mandatory labeling of GMOs," says Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Just Label It, a campaign dedicated to getting GMOs labelled and educating consumers.
Hirshberg says national surveys consistently show that 9 in 10 Americans want to know whether their food contains GMOs or not.
“PepsiCo recognizes that consumer interest in GM ingredients is evolving and we are committed to exploring ways to keep interested consumers informed. PepsiCo supports federal legislation that would set a voluntary standard for declaring GM and GM-free labels. We do not support state-by-state labeling requirements due to the confusion and complexity that would result from such an approach," adds a spokesperson for PepsiCo.
Smaller PepsiCo brands like Naked Juice, Smartfood, and Stacy’s snacks will also have Non-GMO Project certification.
PepsiCo products are sold in more than 200 countries and territories around the world and generated more than $66 billion in net revenue in 2014. Their major brands include Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana.