NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, today announced it will open a long-term research laboratory in New Haven with a focus on the development of healthier food and beverage products. The company also will fund a graduate fellowship in the M.D.-Ph.D. Program at Yale School of Medicine to support research related to nutritional science.
New Haven Research Lab
The opening of the new lab in Science Park, adjacent to Yale's campus, is part of a major shift by PepsiCo to fundamentally improve the nutritional profile of its vast portfolio of foods and beverages. Within the past two years, the company has added world-renowned clinical scientists and experts in nutrition, food safety, epidemiology and health policy to its staff.
"Ultimately, we're trying to make it easier for consumers to lead healthier lifestyles," said Dr. Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo's chief scientific officer and an endocrinologist. "We're confident that the work we'll be doing in New Haven, in collaboration with some of the world's best scientists, will lead to advancements in nutrition and health for people across the globe."
The group based in New Haven will focus on long-term research aimed at developing healthier foods and beverages that can improve people's overall diets. The lab will be PepsiCo's ninth global regional research center. Four centers are located in the United States with others in the United Kingdom, Mexico, China and India along with satellite centers in Thailand, Brazil and Australia.
PepsiCo has already begun its shift to a healthier portfolio of foods and beverages. For example:
- In the United Kingdom and Europe, PepsiCo has introduced Baked Lay's and Baked Walkers with 70% less total fat than regular crisps.
- In the United States, Tropicana Pure Premium Orange Juice has two servings of fruit in every 8-ounce serving and offers a juice variety with added calcium and Vitamin D.
- In India, PepsiCo is using rice bran oil instead of palmoline oil, which has reduced saturated fats by 40%.
In the past three years, the company has increased its investment in research and development by 40%, adopted new marketing practices and acquired companies that produce foods and beverages well beyond soft drinks and chips, such as juices, dairy, hummus, and nuts and seeds. The company also was an early adopter regarding health commitments to its consumers by providing a spectrum of good choices, applying the best available science and promoting healthy kids lifestyles.
PepsiCo M.D.-Ph.D. Program Fellowship
In addition to the research the company is pursuing at the New Haven lab, PepsiCo also will support a fellowship in Yale School of Medicine's M.D.-Ph.D. Program. The endowment will specifically fund work that focuses on nutritional research, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. PepsiCo Fellows will be chosen by the Yale program's faculty based on academic performance and research interests in these relevant areas. This Fellowship will support a pipeline of new biomedical scholars who will progress to leadership positions in their fields.
"PepsiCo's commitment to improving health through proper nutrition is of great importance to the well-being of people in this country and throughout the world," said Dr. Robert Alpern, Dean and Ensign Professor at Yale School of Medicine. We are delighted that they are expanding their research in this area and that they have chosen Yale as a partner for this endeavor. Extending this partnership to the M.D.-Ph.D. Program represents a visionary investment in one of the finest researcher training programs in the world and thus to the future of science."
The M.D.-Ph.D. Program at Yale University was established in 1969 and graduated its first students in 1973. The dual degree Program is meant to provide pre-doctoral trainees with a broad exposure to human biology and medicine, and to an in-depth and rigorous training in one of the scholarly disciplines relevant to medicine.
PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Our main businesses -- Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade -- also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries. With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose. By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.