Starting next year, PepsiCo will offer two versions of its popular sports drink Gatorade—traditional and organic.
Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, confirmed the company would be rolling out an organic Gatorade in a conference Monday, reports Business Insider.
“It’s a consumer interest,” Carey told the audience at the Beverage Digest’s Future Smarts conference. “I think they’re very interested in non-GMO and organic, and to the degree you can make it meaningful to the consumer — do it.”
The product currently contains sucralose and artificial coloring, although it does include certain natural ingredients and flavors. Pepsi hasn't yet detailed what ingredients would be added or eliminated to make it organic.
Organic Gatorade is one several new initiatives the soda and snacks giant is pushing ahead of its latest marketing campaign aimed at offering healthier on-the-go foods.
PepsiCo also recently unveiled its “Hello Goodness” vending machines which will ditch sugary sodas and offer [other Pepsi-owned] brands such as Naked Juice, Smartfood Delight popcorn, Lay’s Oven Baked potato chips, Quaker Real Medleys bars, Pure Leaf iced tea, and Sabra’s Ready-to-Eat Hummus cups in a dual climate-control machine that allows both perishable and non-perishable items to be stored correctly, reports FoxBusiness.com.
"Consumers want more choices when it comes to what they eat and drink on-the-go and we're providing the choices they want," said Kirk Tanner, Chief Operating Officer, PepsiCo North America Beverages. "For years, PepsiCo has been transforming its portfolio to offer more and better food and beverages.”
The futuristic Hello Goodness machines will even make snacking suggestions for users depending on the time of day.
The company is also launching a line of Tropicana juices next year that will be GMO free and display a certification label from the non-GMO Project.
“Tropicana consumers care about non-GMO ingredients and they want more information to help them make the choices that are right for them. It’s important for us to reassure them that Tropicana Pure Premium is – and always has been – non-GMO," a PepsiCo spokesperson tells FOXBusiness.com.
Pepsi is just the latest in a string of companies to pledge a cutback on artificial ingredients and preservatives. But some have question the promises made by the soda giant.
"PepsiCo is being completely disingenuous by choosing to label a handful of products ‘GMO free’ while refusing to let consumers know which of its other products contain GMOs,” Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Just Label It, a campaign dedicated to getting GMOs labelled and educating consumers, told FoxBusiness.com.
“Worse, the company has spent $9 million over the past two years on campaigns to fight state mandatory GMO-labeling, as well as more than $11 million lobbying Congress to pass legislation to block these state efforts and prevent FDA mandatory labeling of GMOs.”
The a company spokesperson said that while the company does not support state-by-state labeling requirements of genetically modified foods, they are in favor of “federal legislation that would set a voluntary standard for declaring GM and GM-free labels.”
Under current USDA guidelines, any product that is organic is also free of GMOs so the new Gatorade could also be eligible for the non-GMO Project verification seal.