PepsiCo's Product Communication: Is It Ethical?*



Case Code : CLMM103
Publication date : 2012
Subject : Marketing Management
Industry : Food and Beverage
Length : 04 Pages


Short Case Study Price: INR 100;

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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

In March 2012, PepsiCo, the America-based Food and Beverages company, quietly removed the ‘SnackSmart’ labels from its food products and changed its cooking medium back to low cost palmolein from rice bran oil. Health activists opposed this move, which raised health concerns among consumers. The case also shows how the company promoted its products and why it changed the product ingredients. It raised ethical concerns about product communication and the promotion of the product.


Discuss how PepsiCo promoted its snack products to increase market share
Understand and discuss the ethical issues in product communication


In March 2012, Frito-Lay , a food division of PepsiCo India Ltd (PIL), quietly removed the ‘SnackSmart’ (Refer to Exhibit I for SnackSmart Label) label from its snack packs. PIL switched its cooking medium from the healthier rice bran oil to low cost palmolein oil to reduce costs. Health activists in India accused PepsiCo of failing to inform consumers about the change in its product ingredients. However, PepsiCo denied the charge...

Key words:
PepsiCo, Frito-lay, Cost, Ethics, Product communication, Label, Snacks, Healthy, Food and Beverage, Market Share, Promotion, Advertisement, Ethical advertisement, Strategy

* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.