Call it the beverage version of auto business: when the going gets tough, automakers sometimes double down on muscle cars. Al Carey, a Frito-Lay veteran named CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages in September, talked up PepsiCo's sugary sodas and salty chips at Beverage Digest's annual Future Smarts conference in December.
His talk impressed industry insiders and analysts there. "We should not demonize these products," Carey said. "You can't just try to develop healthy brands alone; you have to also get behind indulgent brands."
Analysts say that in fewer than two weeks, PepsiCo will unveil its business outlook for 2012 and beyond, with analysts calling for an additional marketing investment of $400 million to $500 million. Pundits say both the departure of CEO Indra Nooyi and a Kraft Foods-like breakup of the company are unlikely. PepsiCo declined to comment for Age's article, citing a quiet period in advance of its Feb. 9 meeting and its fourth-quarter earnings announcement.