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“Guilt Free” Maybe, But Are Those PepsiCo Drinks And Snacks Healthful?

February 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After PepsiCo reported that last quarter sales rose three percent for snacks and one percent for beverages, CEO Indra Nooyi told securities analysts that the company is betting that "positive" ingredients such as grains, fruits and vegetables will drive growth. The company calls foods with these ingredients “guilt free,” despite other questionable additives. Salty baked Lay’s potato chips are dubbed guilt free, as are Naked beverages, some of which are packed with sugary, fruit-based calories. Quaker’s 180-calorie "breakfast cookie" is loaded with fat and sugar along with the oats. Nooyi said 45 percent of PepsiCo’s revenues come from products designated “guilt free.” And despite pledges from Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper in 2014 to cut the number of calories from drinks by 20 percent by 2024, beverage-based calories declined by only 0.2 percent in 2015 – less than in previous years. [ Breakfast Cookie; image credit: © Quaker Oats Co. ]
Candice Choi, "Pepsico Sees Growth From "Guilt-Free" Items Like Baked Lay's", Associated Press, February 15, 2017, © The Associated Press
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