Smart Spot is PepsiCo's web-based health and wellness program connected to the company's "Smart Spot" products, a line of foods with a symbol indicating that they meet certain nutritional guidelines. The program's website contains a shopping list of PepsiCo products that will help "you and your children to identify healthier products."
After a survey found that only 10 percent of respondents rated PepsiCo as a company that was "concerned with my health," placing it near the bottom, PepsiCo was adamant about positioning itself as part of the solution. So, in 2005, PepsiCo launched the "Smart Spot" program, a self-congratulatory stamp of approval on its own products that are deemed healthier alternatives. According to PepsiCo, the green check mark symbol is designed to make people's lives simpler by serving "as a shortcut, an easy way for consumers to identify a broad range of food and beverage choices from PepsiCo that contribute to a healthier lifestyle." The program is aimed particularly at moms, who, according to Ellen Taaffe, PepsiCo's vice president of Health and Wellness Marketing, can use the Smart Spot to "make some healthier choices to help move their families toward healthier lifestyles."
Because PepsiCo continues to make products that don't meet its self-selected Smart Spot criteria, PepsiCo divided its products into "good for you" and "better for you (Smart Spot offerings), and "product alternatives" and "fun-for-you" foods (non-Smart Spot items). PepsiCo rates more than 200 of its products as healthier, "Smart Spot" foods, including diet soda and baked potato chips.
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- PepsiCo, Smart Spot website, accessed October 2008
- Michele Simon Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back (Nation Books, 2006), pg 99-100
- PepsiCo "National Promotion to Highlight PepsiCo's Smart Spot Program" January 12, 2005
- Ellen Taaffe quoted in Michele Simon Appetite for Profit pg 101-102
- Michele Simon Appetite for Profit pg 103