From Pepsi Optimism Project (POP): Americans Believe Ideas from 'Regular People' Will Save the Day

Pepsi's Third National Survey Reveals Americans Believe Optimism is the Catalyst for Ideas That Change Society

Jan 11, 2010, 07:00 ET from Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages

PURCHASE, N.Y., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey conducted by the Pepsi Optimism Project (POP) reveals that while Americans are actually less optimistic now than they were a year ago (or even six months ago), they believe that 2010 and beyond will be better than the past decade. In fact, an overwhelming majority of survey participants (94%) agree that optimism is important in creating new ideas that can have a positive impact on the world. The best ideas, they said, are more likely to come from "normal people" (66%) as opposed to public figures.

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In spite of challenging current events, Americans do hold out hope for a better future, with 72% of survey participants still saying they expect the best to happen in uncertain times. Americans also believe that optimism can have a strong impact on moving society forward in a positive direction (92%).

The third POP survey, which was conducted by StrategyOne, an independent research firm, found that Americans (70%) believe that new ideas from "people like you and me" will only become more impactful in the next decade. The majority of Americans (75%) believe that in today's world there are more opportunities to share ideas than ever before, citing family and friends as the best sources for new ideas.

In a ranking of the best sources for great ideas, survey participants voted largely in favor of friends (19%), children (15%), mothers (13%), and grandparents (13%). Traditional authority figures like bosses were less likely, according to survey participants, to come up with these great ideas (2%).

"People who generate the most ideas are often the people we surround ourselves with everyday. The Pepsi Optimism survey shows that it is your friends, children, parents, and grandparents who motivate and inspire curious minds and creative spirits to achieve a greater good," said Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer, PepsiCo Americas Beverages and president, Joint Ventures.

Optimism "Walks the Talk" With Pepsi Refresh Project

In an effort to support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, the Pepsi Refresh Project (, will award over $20 million in 2010 to move communities forward. Individuals can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects starting January 13, and site visitors can vote for the best ideas for funding starting February 1. The Pepsi Refresh Project is an evolution of the Refresh Everything initiative Pepsi launched in 2009, which showed the brand as an optimistic catalyst for idea creation, leading to an ever-refreshing world. Pepsi will fund projects that make a difference in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education.

"The results of our most recent survey tell us that now is the right time to give the general public the power to cultivate and celebrate optimism," adds Beraud. "While people are discouraged by world or economic events, they also believe in themselves to generate ideas to make things better. We think that's a terrific outlook for the future, and we want to be a part of that."

Each of the Pepsi Optimism Project surveys has had tracking questions on the state of optimism as well as a topic (events that generate optimism) or demographic (millennials, African-Americans, Hispanics). All previous POP survey results can be found at this link:

Survey Methodology

StrategyOne® is a full-service, strategic consulting firm based in New York, N.Y. The interviews were conducted via telephone using the field services of Braun Research, incorporating a rigorous methodology including random digit dialing to ensure national representation, and computer-assisted telephone interviewing for optimal accuracy. A total of 1,005 telephone interviews were conducted among a representative sample of Americans, age 18 and older between December 17 and 22, 2009. The overall margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is +/- 3.1%. Statistical weights were designed from the United States Census Bureau statistics.

POP Survey Criteria

Approximately 1,280 Americans ages 18 and older were surveyed from June 11 through June 15 and June 18 through June 22, 2009 as part of the Pepsi Optimism Project, an ongoing study tracking the national level of optimism on a quarterly basis, by measuring the national state of optimism via a composite score. The national optimism score is derived from scoring and totaling American's responses to survey questions about their overall sense of optimism, their sense of optimism about their personal lives, their optimism about the world and their optimism about the future. Optimism levels are broken down into five categories, including "Very Optimistic" (scores between 200-161), "Optimistic" (scores between 160-121), "Neutral" (scores between 120-81), "Pessimistic" (80-41), "Very Pessimistic" (40-0). Currently, the nation's optimism score is 143, concluding that Americans today are "optimistic."

Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages

The Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages (PCNAB) portfolio features market-leading liquid refreshment beverages, including the Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and Mug trademarks in the carbonated soft drink category. PCNAB is a division of PepsiCo, which offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generates 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

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