Pepsi Foodservice CMO Looks At Bright Side: 'We Democratized Our Insights To A Greater Degree'

Talk about looking at the glass half-full. Five months in with COVID, Pepsi's Scott Finlow looked back and found that the company has "democratized our insights to a greater degree. There are ways we can use our insights to help people," said the global CMO of Pepsi Foodservice, "and we try to do that."

One of the ways was to put a restaurant worker relief fund over the $20 million mark with a $3 million donation, he told our Brand Insider Summit CPG on Wednesday. The fund was started by chef Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association. Pepsi's donation was announced to Fieri via  the YouTube program "Some Good News" (SGN) and shared on a video put together in 24 hours. Finlow noted, too, that the food and beverage giant was also being responsive to emerging media channels like SGN. 

After COVID hit, Pepsi Foodservice did some research to model how the consumer journey was changing. "I've spent part of my career on insights and marketing, and it's never been more important to be connected to your insights team," Finlow said. "They are closest to people."

Pepsi then mapped out phases around cocooning, including a restricted recovery, a full recovery and a new normal. "More broadly, it brought us closer to a lot of customers and to understanding what's happening with them empathetically."

As far as forecasting out in this environment, Finlow said Pepsi has mapped out a set of different scenarios. "We're planning literally for more of a center cut but insuring that we're planning a degree of flexibility for that future."

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