Pepsi = Health Food

When you think about health food, you probably don’t think about Pepsi Co.

But….you will.

Big companies like Pepsi and Nestle are betting a lot of money on the growth potential of food products that bridge the gap between regular food and pharmaceuticals.

Designed and marketed as potential treatments for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, you can expect to see an explosion of new healthy products from the unlikeliest of sources in the coming years.

Back in September, Nestle decided to invest over $500 million to create a standalone health science business to tackle obesity and chronic disease.

And just last month, Pepsi opened a long-term research laboratory in New Haven with a focus on the development of healthier food and beverage products. The company will also fund a $250,000 graduate fellowship in the M.D.-Ph.D. Program at Yale School of Medicine to support research related to nutritional science.

And you know that they wouldn’t be spending that kind of cash if they didn’t see a pot of gold at the end of their research rainbow.

Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

6 thoughts on “Pepsi = Health Food

  • January 12, 2011 at 2:57 am

    The artificial sugar alone in Pepsi increases human appetite 3 fold that may be contributing to obesity. Look up studies for ‘saccharin’ (which is a Monsanto product) and ‘aspartame’. They may be using other artificial sugar too, like Splenda” (Diet Coke) and ‘Sucralose; or ‘Ace-K’ (Diet Rite).

    Pepsi’s recent switch to plant-based sweeteners like Stevia… Real stevia ground from dried stevia leaves is green, pepsi’s reb-a is white. The source is natural but the processing kills any nutrient found in the Stevia leaves.

    A big spacious lab and lots of money in the corp does not necessarily mean Pepsi is healthy. Many big corps like Macdonald’s also create unhealthy food.

  • January 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    They know that people are consuming their products less, and they’ll need to be ready and waiting with a new product that people will consume just as much as they did with their unhealthy products. It makes sense both from a business perspective as well as an ethical one.

  • January 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Intriguing post, Douglas.

    I hope big foods’ promise for better, healthier foods translates into more wholesome, less processed food. That would be a very important development that is gradually happening already due to consumer demand.

    As far as making “products that bridge the gap between regular food and pharmaceuticals”, there’s really very little evidence that adding vitamins, antioxidants or other molecules to processed foods adds anything to their healthfulness. Most health claims on foods are misleading, and nothing but a marketing tool. I hope the FDA continues to act against these unproven health claims on foods, which have added to the confusion around what good nutrition really is.

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

    It’s good that companies who profit so highly from products that make us fat and sick are reinvesting in research to reverse that. Or they could just stop selling soda. Hmmmm….

    • January 5, 2011 at 5:24 am

      Susan, for companies like this, I suspect their market research is pointing them in the right direction rather than merely altruistic reasons. :P


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