Headquarters: Purchase, NY
2016 Sales: $62.8 billion
2015 Sales: $63.1 billion
PepsiCo continues to strive toward a better balance of traditional and better-for-you snacks. Frito-Lay is the undisputed global champion of snacks, and its product lineup continues to grow more diversified, with innovations related to bold, flavor-forward products and better-for-you snacking.
On the traditional side, Frito-Lay continues to dominate. Flagship potato chip brand Lay’s was up 0.21 percent in dollar sales to $2.2 billion for the 52 weeks ending April 16, 2017, per IRI, Chicago. Doritos climbed 3.59 percent to $2.1 billion. Cheetos saw 8.96 percent growth to $1.6 billion. Fritos grew 4.97 percent to $889.8 million. And Smartfood increased sales a whopping 28.83 percent to $349.1 million. All of these brands lead their respective categories—often by a wide margin.
But corporate directives from Pepsico executive leadership are putting nutritionals in the crosshairs. In October 2016, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi stated that by 2025, three-quarters of its global foods portfolio will contain sodium levels that do not exceed 1.3 mg per calorie, and three-quarters will not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 calories. PepsiCo sees the strong potential of better-for-you products and seeks to incrementally grow that aspect of its snack business.
One move along better-for-you lines is incorporation of more whole grains and vegetables into its snacks, as seen in its SunChips brand with the launch of its Veggie Harvest line. Frito-Lay has also launched an Off the Eaten Path brand, made with ingredients like rice, black beans and peas. And most recently, PepsiCo said that it is looking into developing snacks specifically suited to female demographics—snacks that will have a diminished “crunch,” a strong flavor profile, reduced incidence of seasonings sticking to fingers and that can fit inside a woman’s purse.
Frito-Lay has also seen success by diversifying its revenue stream via product development specific to foodservice. The Doritos Locos taco was the strongest new product offering in the history of the quick-service restaurant (QSR) segment. From there, the company worked with Burger King, Subway, Papa John’s and other chains.