PepsiCo butts heads with its eternal rival The Coca-Cola Company for the title of world's biggest soft drinks maker. PepsiCo's soft drink brands include Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Tropicana, Gatorade, and Aquafina water. The company also owns Frito-Lay, the world's #1 snack maker with offerings such as Lay's, Ruffles, Doritos, and Cheetos. The Quaker Foods unit makes breakfast cereals (Quaker oatmeal, Life), Rice-A-Roni, and Near East side dishes. Pepsi products are available in 200-plus countries. The company operates its own bottling plants and distribution facilities.
PepsiCo's pervasive presence is founded on a broad portfolio of mega brands each of which generates more than $1 billion in annual sales. Business is supported by nearly 700 manufacturing facilities worldwide.
Operations are organized into six business units: Frito-Lay North America (FLNA); Quaker Foods North America (QFNA); North America Beverages (NAB); Latin America; Europe Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA); and Asia, Middle East and North Africa (AMENA).
NAB, around 35% of sales, makes and markets beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods. Brands include Pepsi, Gatorade, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Diet Pepsi, Diet Mountain Dew, Tropicana Pure Premium, Mist Twst, and Mug. It also makes ready-to-drink tea and coffee products in conjunction with Unilever and Starbucks. It also has manufacturing licenses from Dr Pepper Snapple Group for drink brands Dr Pepper, Crush, and Schweppes; and from Dole Food for Ocean Spray cranberry juice.
FLNA, about 25% of revenue, lays about a big spread of branded snack foods. Its brands include Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Fritos, Ruffles, and Santitas, which it sells to independent distributors and retailers. In a joint venture with Strauss Group, it makes and sells Sabra dips and spreads.
The QFNA segment accounts for around 5% of sales and consists of the manufacture and distribution of cereals, rice, pasta, and other branded products. Products include Quaker-branded oatmeal, grits, rice cakes, granola, oatmeal squares, as well as Quaker Chewy granola bars. It also makes and sells Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, Life cereal, and Rice-A-Roni side dishes.
The ESSA segment brings in more than 15% of sales and consists of the manufacture and sale of its soft drink and snack brands in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Additional activities include the marketing and distribution of dairy products including Chudo, Agusha, and Domik v Derevne.
Latin America and AMENA both account for around 10% of sales and make, market, and distribute PepsiCo's snack foods and beverages in the region. Region-specific brands include Toddy, Manzanita Sol, H2oh! (Latin America) and Kurkure, Chipsys, and Crunchy (AMENA).
The US accounts for around 55% of PepsiCo sales. Important international markets for the company include Russia, Mexico, Canada, and the UK. PepsiCo is also active in emerging and developing markets, particularly Brazil, China, India, Africa, and the Middle East.
Sales and Marketing
To promote its products, PepsiCo uses a combination of sales incentives, discounts, advertising, and other marketing activities.
PepsiCo's customers include wholesale distributors, grocery and convenience stores, mass merchandisers, membership stores, authorized independent bottlers, and food service distributors, including hotels and restaurants. The company's snacks, beverages, and other products are brought to market through direct-store-delivery (DSD), customer warehouse, and distributor networks. Walmart is its largest customer, accounting for 15% of its overall sales and about 20% of PepsiCo's North American business.
PepsiCo's top five retail customers account for more than 30% of the company's net revenue in North America.
PepsiCo’s revenue has been as flat as a day-old soda for the past three years after peaking at about $66.7 billion in 2014.
In 2017, the company reported sales of $63.5 billion compared to sales of $62.8 billion in 2016. North American Beverage revenue declined 2% on lower volume while Frito-Lay North America revenue rose 2% from price increases, despite a 1% drop in volume (including a low single-digit decline in Doritos sales). The company posted growth of 5% and 8% in Latin America and Europe and Sub-Sahara Africa, respectively, but sales declined 5% in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Pepsico’s profit dropped to $4.8 billion in 2017 from $6.3 billion in 2016. Expenses in 2017 included a $2.5 billion provision for federal income tax from the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Income before taxes was $9.6 billion in 2017 compared to $8.5 billion in 2016. Higher commodity costs also weighed on the bottom line in 2017.
Cash from operations fell $10 billion in 2017 from $10.7 billion in 2016 due, in part, to higher payments to vendors and customers in 2017.
Key to PepsiCo's growth strategy is to drive sales for its retail customers by introducing new products and enhancing existing products through more focus on global research and development.
The company has moved aggressively to provide healthier drink and snacks in response to rising consumer health-consciousness in recent years. It has introduced two new product concepts: Everyday Nutrition products, which contain nutrients like grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins; and Guilt-Free products, which covers all Everyday Nutrition products in addition to products with less than 70 calories from sugar per 12 ounces and with low sodium and saturated fats.
Recent additions to the lineup include LIFEWTR, a premium bottled water, LEMON LEMON, a low-sugar sparkling lemonade. About half of the company’s revenue comes from healthier drinks and snacks, up from less than 40% a decade ago.
The health initiatives were driven by Indra Nooyi, the company’s CEO who was due to step down in 2018. The company’s revenue rose to more than $63 billion from $35 billion in her 12-year tenure. She was to be succeeded by Ramon Laguarta, a 22-year PepsiCo veteran.
To improve its profitability over the long term, the company also continues to focus on improving productivity by lowering overhead costs, utilizing its global scale, getting rid of duplication, and implementing cost-saving technologies. Beginning in 2014, PepsiCo has managed to cut costs by $1 billion in four consecutive years with an immaterial impact on the top line. This was achieved by increased automation and restructuring global manufacturing and distribution. It plans to continue the program until 2019.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In late 2018 PepsiCo acquired SodaStream, an Israeli firm that makes an at-home drink carbonation machine. The deal is worth around $3.2 billion and extends PepsiCo's reach directly into customers' homes.
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