FEATURE19 January 2022

Refreshing research: How PepsiCo uses insight

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FMCG Features Impact Retail

Food and beverage giant PepsiCo wants insight to be a source of competitive advantage, and has placed a focus on technology to help it achieve that. By Katie McQuater.

Pepsi drink with a lot of ice

Imagine that you are the chief consumer insights officer for a multinational consumer goods corporation, responsible for a global insight function employing around 850 people and spanning a range of brands. Then Covid-19 hits, and old certainties fly out of the window.

For Stephan Gans, senior vice-president, chief insights and analytics officer at PepsiCo, the pandemic has meant the function needs to become more adept at planning for the future rather than telling us what’s happened in the past – perhaps the more traditional preserve of market research.

“We’re in a much bigger rush than we would have otherwise been to focus on improving our foresight capabilities, ” says Gans, of the impact on insight since March 2020. “Every business in the world is basically struggling with the same thing – that Covid has uprooted a lot of things that we were used to. Planning for the future is arguably more important, but more difficult, now than it has been in ...