PepsiCo showed up at the University of California, Davis Center for Entrepreneurship this week as a sponsor and participant in the Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy. The academy attracts scientists in the fields of nutrition, viticulture and enology, plant science, biochemistry, nutritional genomics and fields relevant to foods for health. The discussions involved taking scientific ideas and turning them into viable business opportunities.
I believe that PepsiCo is in the midst of an inspiring evolution that is leading the company to better provide consumers with more compelling product offerings, including nutrient-dense food and beverages that are affordable and accessible. My colleagues and I found participation in this event helped us to refresh our ideas, rethink the talent required to deliver, and work to redefine our business to keep it vibrant.
At PepsiCo we are firm believers that the solutions to complex social problems like obesity and hunger in different parts of the world require all of us to think creatively about breakthrough product solutions and to collaborate across sectors. In addition to participation in a wide variety of ideas exchange forums, we have increased our external focus and interaction with the innovation community through Physic Ventures, an early stage venture fund. We are not just investors but have also committed a full time employee to the fund. Working closely with Physic allows us to be directly involved with the emerging technologies that will enable us to find new ways of designing food products and anticipating future consumer needs.
What do you anticipate some future consumer needs may be? And how can companies such as PepsiCo respond? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
Photo: Peter Given, Ted Rivera, John Schuette, Karin Rotem, and Dondeena Bradley from PepsiCo and Wil Agatstein and Andy Hargadon from the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship.