According to the legacy brand, the group behind the pepsicohealthandnutritionsciences.com has a strong academic foundation that leverages expertise in nutrition, dietetics, health promotion, and other health science related disciplines.
The H&NS team is part of the Life Sciences function, which brings together key stakeholders with expertise in health and nutrition science and associated policy, sports science, external innovation, clinical operations and external engagement with health professionals and academics. The Life Sciences team explores the relationships between nutrition, diet, health and performance through research and provides a single voice for PepsiCo in the interpretation, communication and translation of science to support innovation.
Responsibility comes with territory
Marianne O’Shea, Vice President, Global Health & Nutrition leads PepsiCo’s Health and Nutrition Sciences team. She said that while PepsiCo has been curating and sharing educational content for many years, there has not been a central location to house the information.
“Therefore, the H&NS team decided to create a website to ensure that there is transparency to our research program by making these materials more easily accessible to the broader health and nutrition community. The hope is that these resources will continue to move the field forward,” explained O’Shea.
She added that PepsiCo’s global scale provides a major opportunity as well as responsibility to provide consumers with sustainable products that meet nutritional needs.
“Healthcare professionals (HCPs), who are in direct contact with the public help to break down barriers by translating the latest nutrition science in a way that is easier to understand and by providing guidance on how to make choices that will lead to a healthier lifestyle,” said O’Shea. “Therefore, PepsiCo’s Health and Nutrition Sciences (H&NS) team sought to create a website with ample resources for HCPs to help them be successful in their efforts to educate individuals and improve public health.”
The website is broken down into four focus areas: Guide New Product Development & Portfolio Expansion, External Engagement, Nutrition Science Research and Internal Education.
Another core aspect of the website is the company’s nutrition policy, which is a set of science-based nutrition guidelines that serve as a compass to assist PepsiCo’s portfolio transformation. The criteria are based on food and nutrient recommendations from leading global and national nutrition authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Academy of Medicine and dietary guidelines from numerous countries.
The guideline sets standards for which nutrients to limit, and which nutrients to encourage that are based on the latest science and country-specific dietary guidelines.
While there are a number of infographics on subjects like hydration, whole grains and immune health, one topic that is hard to miss is PepsiCo’s fixation on gut health. The website offers a number of resources such as FODMAP guidance, probiotics, fiber and digestive health.
“We continue to see consumer demand for healthier products and products that deliver on various functional benefits like reducing stress, immune health, digestive health, plant-based or personalized nutrition. Therefore, we have not only innovated into new categories to provide products that offer these benefits, but we have also created education materials that help to explain the science and mechanisms behind the ingredients that are delivering the benefit,” explained O’Shea. “On the H&NS website, you will find a continuing education webinar titled ‘Plant-Based Foods and a Healthy Microbiome.’ HCPs can watch the recording and learn more about the benefits of incorporating plant-based foods into the diet. Digestive health is another topic that individuals are interested in but can be complicated to understand. The resources on the H&NS website help to outline the key ingredients such as fiber, prebiotics and probiotics that support digestive health and the science behind how these ingredients function in the body.”
O’Shea said that she finds the most exciting aspect of the nutrition field to be how it constantly evolves.
“We are continually monitoring and evaluating the latest science and discovering new findings that help us to understand the physiological impact of ingredients on health. The challenge is we can’t all be an expert in every topic relating to health and nutrition, despite the important role that nutrition plays in an individual’s overall health,” noted O’Shea. “That is why we decided to develop a resource hub for HCPs, so that they can easily access education materials on the latest science.”