The recently published WHO guideline which recommends adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake is just one of the prevalent challenges currently facing the food and beverages sector. Combining these stringent food safety rules with increasingly selective consumers who are now more motivated to choose products free from artificial ingredients, GMOs as well as pesticides, both sectors are compelled to swiftly evolve and remain viable. On top of this, growing e-commerce and changing business models are forcing companies to completely rethink the way that they sell and produce products. With a lot of issues on their plates, we take a look at the views of some of the world’s largest food and drinks companies:

Indra Nooyi, CEO Pepsico‘Consumers are rethinking the way how they eat and drink. There is a new trend:  people don’t even prepare meals at home, they are not going to the grocery store as much as they did, they shop for only recipes, or order food online. They are shopping in interesting ways. This is a profound change in eating habits.’

Donnie Smith, CEO Tyson‘Health and wellness used to be ‘I’m gonna go on a diet, I’m gonna lose weight and I’m gonna exercise more’. Today, it means as much about how my food is produced, was it sustainably sourced, was it raised responsibly etc… There’s a larger number of consumers today that believe how their food is produced influences their health.’

Paul Bulcke, CEO Nestle‘I always feel the biggest challenge for leadership is to keep perspective on things. It’s important to take a long-term perspective – and what long-term means may depend on the institution.’

Muhtar Kent, CEO Coca-Cola‘Every moment of every day is an opportunity to start or strengthen a relationship, and those relationships, if cultivated, can lead to incredible opportunities for everyone involved. For me, relationships are the single-most important element.’

Irene Rosenfeld, CEO Mondelez International‘Our issue was not our categories. It was our participation within those categories. Consumers were eating cheese, they were eating meat, and they were drinking coffee. They just were not eating and drinking our brands in those categories. […] It was about trading up to premium products. It was about a focus on health and wellness. It was about a focus on convenience and snacks. That was the lens that we then used to reframe our categories and to make them more relevant and contemporary to our consumers.’

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