3 Facts Why The Wall Street Journal Is Wrong To Criticize Pepsi’s CEO Indra Nooyi On Healthier Products Strategy

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The soft drink world experienced an earthquake recently when Coke Zero displaced Pepsi as the number two soft drink behind Coke.

The Wall Street Journal has now published an article questioning Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi’s strategy for expanding Pepsi’s product offering toward healthier choices.


Come on WSJ let’s look at the facts.

FACT #1. What soft drink displaced Pepsi at number two? It was Coke ZERO. Coke ZERO is a soft drink specifically designed to offer a soft drink experience with ZERO calories. Coke ZERO is marketed to consumers seeking healthier, ie lower calories, drink choices. If anything, Coke ZERO taking over number two positioning re-enforces the value of developing business strategies focused upon products that align with consumers searching for “in me, on me and around me” solutions. My bright green friends will have their issues on whether Coke ZERO is a healthier alternative but what can’t be questioned is that the consumer shift toward what they believe are healthier products are creating revenue growth opportunities like Coke ZERO.

Fact #2. Coke has a healthier product strategy too. Pepsi and Coke are world class at figuring out where consumers are heading in their product choices. BOTH are implementing strategies that are expanding their product lines to include healthier alternatives. Coke sells Odwalla. Coke sells Honest Tea. Coke sells Minute Maid juices. How do you conclude a failed strategy for Pepsi focusing upon healthier product offerings when Coke is doing the same thing?

Fact #3. Consumers are buying healthier choices. Market research is overwhelmingly documenting that consumers are searching for “green” solutions. Some consumers call it energy efficiency. Some call it sustainability. Some call it organic. And there is no unifying “reason” among consumers for going green. Some do it to save money. Some do it improve their health and that of their loved ones. And some do it because they believe it is the right thing to do. But what is not in question is Earth 2017′s analysis that a mega-trend shift in consumer procurement toward buying smart, healthy and green products is creating a multi-trillion dollar global annual revenue opportunity that should be integral to every business strategy.

Pepsi losing its number two position in soft drink sales is NOT an indication of a failed strategy by Pepsi in offering healthier products. Rather, it is further evidence that consumer demand is shifting in scale and speed toward products and companies offering smart, health and green solutions.

Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017, a company that connects businesses with customers who are buying smart, healthy and green solutions. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles best practices of businesses making money going green.

About Bill Roth

Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017, author of The Secret Green Sauce and a nationally-followed contributor to Entrepreneur.com, Triple Pundit, The Green Economy Post and Media Post on best business practices emerging from the smart, healthy and green global economy. He coaches entrepreneurs, business and community leaders on how to grow revenues, profits and jobs by going smart and green.
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