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PepsiCo India aims to reduce sugar in fizzy drinks

Will transform portfolio 3 years ahead of time: Vipul Prakash, senior vice-president of the company

Arnab Dutta  |  New Delhi 

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is planning to reduce the sugar content in all its carbonated in line with its parent’s churning of its beverages portfolio worldwide.

The company is gearing up to launch a new with 30 per cent less sugar and plans to extend the formulation to its other brands, according to Vipul Prakash, senior vice-president, beverages,

“Our priority now is to transform the portfolio towards a healthier range and it will remain so for the next three years. If we continue at the current pace, we might achieve our target two or three years ahead of the deadline,” he said.

has a three-pronged strategy of introducing zero calorie drinks, entering categories that are inherently low in sugar, and reducing sugar in its core products. It launched Revive, a hydration drink, last year and plans to address the low-sugar category with brands like and After 7UP, PepsiCo plans to reduce sugar in its other fizzy

“Without that, we will not be able to meet the target,” Prakash said.

The New York-headquartered snacks and beverages maker has set a target of less than 100 calories from added sugar per 12 oz serving for at least two-thirds of its

Indra Nooyi, chief executive of PepsiCo worldwide, last week said the company would this year promote “products that are naturally beneficial, like water and unsweetened tea”. With “changing consumer preferences reflecting a growing shift towards healthier lifestyles, we need to transform our portfolio”, she told investors.

PepsiCo’s efforts are similar to those of its rival Coca-Cola, which under a new management is also aiming to renovate its offerings. Reducing sugar in and adding new categories are focus areas for Coca-Cola.

Continuing efforts to widen the its non-cola portfolio, has launched Tropicana Essentials (fruit and vegetable juice), Himalaya Orchards (flavoured water) and Himalaya sparkling water. Also, Pepsi Black, a zero calorie version of Pepsi Cola, has been introduced in India.

Prakash said PepsiCo’s non-cola were growing 1.5 times faster than colas in India. Last year, the company introduced smaller servings to drive subdued sales in the fizzy market, where new and smaller brands are offering cheaper products. Growth in smaller pack sales was 50 per cent higher than large and conventional packs, Prakash said.