PepsiCo Announces New “Hydration Platform” in an Effort to Reduce Plastic Waste

Our awareness of immense plastic waste around the world has grown significantly over the past several years and many companies are starting to do their part to reduce it.  PepsiCo, for example, has just announced a new beverage dispenser for its food service sector in an effort to better control at least one aspect of its global corporate impact.  The concept aims at prompting consumer to fill their own reusable bottles. 

According to PepsiCo global chief marketing officer (for food service), Scott Finlow, “We developed it in response to existing consumer behavior—reusable bottle behavior. That’s why we feel really good about it.”

Fittingly announced on Earth Day, the strategy is part of a bigger push by PepsiCo to reduce its carbon footprint. The company has already led an industry-wide campaign to reverse the noticeable decline in US household recycling; and Pepsi has already reported that 25 percent of its plastic packaging will be sourced from recycled materials within the next five years.

Obviously these initiatives comes in response to a massive, global consumer movement to reduce all plastic use, particularly in an effort to curb ocean pollution.  PepsiCo calls the latest move its new “hydration platform,” which dispenses sugar-free, carbonated water in six natural flavors. This is a big deal for a company that has typically focused on sodas, but are making the transition to carbonated water products since that sector outsold soda sales for the first time in 2016.

These new dispensers will allow consumers to adjust how much carbonation is in their drink.  It will also allow modification of temperature and flavor intensity and can even track water consumption and the number of plastic bottles saved (through a connected mobile app).  

Yes, it is a bit like a Soda Stream.

As such, Finlow goes on to say, “This new platform for hydration is an exciting step in the PepsiCo Beyond the Bottle innovation pipeline. We’ve addressed a number of trends we’re seeing resonate with consumers, including the increasing concern for the environment and preference for refillable bottles, as well as choice and personalization whenever possible. Now, whether they’re at home, work, or on-the-go, we’ve given people a way to make more sustainable choices throughout their day and achieve their personal hydration goals.”

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