Recently an article came across the Kick the Can desk that required a double take. The article trumpeted in its second sentence the “scoop” that “..some soda opponents may not know Pepsi and Coke are quite willing to pull their sugary drinks from schools.” Oh really? We thought it important to go a little bit deeper on that issue since our experience suggests the truth is a bit more complicated.
Pepsi is under fire by one of the leading figures in nutrition, Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at the New York University. In a post on her blog, and in this Beverage Daily article, Nestle criticizes Pepsi for choosing profit over public health.
Nestle's comments come after Pepsi announced some changes to their marketing strategy. They will up their marketing budget by $500 to $600 million and focus on marketing their "core brands" like Pepsi and Frito-Lay. These brands are, of course, among Pepsi's least healthy brands.
Pepsi has spent $ 17 million lobbying against a soda tax, and yet news came out last week that Pepsi itself charges a fee to their employees who are overweight or who smoke.
According to this Bloomberg Buisinessweek article:
"Four years ago, PepsiCo (PEP) began rolling out a wellness program that charges its employees $50 a month if they smoke or have obesity-related medical problems such as diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure. Workers can avoid the surcharge if they attend classes to learn how to break their nicotine addictions or lose weight."
By: Joel Epstein
The fat cats are getting ready to rumble, again. That's right; the 'beverage' that is implicated in the current childhood obesity and diabetes epidemic is gearing up for a major marketing campaign. Who loses when this happens? You guessed it, our kids.