PepsiCo’s joint venture with Beyond Meat is aiming to release new plant-based snacks and drinks by early next year, according to Pepsi Chief Executive Ramon Laguarta. As per the statement released by the company, Laguarta said, “This is only the beginning of what I think is going to be a game-changing JV.”
PepsiCo (Nasdaq: PEP) and El Segundo, California-based Beyond Meat (Nasdaq: BYND) formed their venture, The Planet Partnership, in January to develop food products made from plant-based proteins. Beyond Meat is known for making plant-based proteins that taste like meat, such as its ground-beef substitute Beyond Beef. The partnership is part of Pepsi’s larger goal to make changes to its operations to help combat climate change, such as reducing emissions, using more sustainable packaging and introducing food products that are better for the environment.
Earlier Wednesday, Pepsi announced a new initiative called “Pep+” (Pep Positive) that aims to place sustainability at the center of how the company plans to create growth and value. The company said the initiative will guide its operations from sourcing ingredients and making and selling its products in a more sustainable way, to encouraging its customers to make choices that are better for themselves and the planet.
“Pep+ is the future of our company – a fundamental transformation of what we do and how we do it to create growth and shared value with sustainability and human capital at the center,” Laguarta said in an announcement. “It reflects a new business reality, where consumers are becoming more interested in the future of the planet and society.”
The initiative will include cutting its use of virgin plastic by 50% across its food and beverage portfolio by 2030, using recycled content in packaging and growing its SodaStream business, which uses less packaging. The company also plans to reduce added sugars and sodium in its products, cook its foods with healthier oils and incorporate more diverse ingredients, such as chickpeas, plant-based proteins and whole grains.
Earlier this year, Beyond Meat signed a deal to supply vegan burger patties to McDonald’s. It also has a deal with Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) to offer plant-based menu items at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants over the next several years.