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Pepsico Inc Earnings Call Q2 2018


Good morning and welcome to Pepsico’s Second
Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Your lines have been placed on listen-only
until the question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Today’s call is being
recorded and will be archived at www.pepsico.com. It is now my pleasure to introduce Mr. Jamie
Caulfield, SVP of IR. Mr. Caulfield, you may begin. Thank you, operator. With me today are Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s Chairman
and CEO; and Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo’s CFO. We’ll lead off today’s call with a review
of our second quarter performance and full year 2018 outlook, and then we’ll move on
to Q&A. Before we begin, please take note of our cautionary
statement. This conference call includes forward-looking
statements, including statements regarding 2018 guidance based on currently available
information. Forward-looking statements inherently involve
risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those
predicted. Statements made on this conference call should
be considered together with cautionary statements and other information contained in today’s
earnings release and in our most recent periodic reports filed with the SEC. When discussing our financial results on today’s
call, we will refer to certain non-GAAP measures which excludes certain items such as the impact
on the US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other tax-related items, foreign exchange translation
and acquisitions, divestitures, structural and other changes from our reported results. You should refer to the glossary and other
attachments to this morning’s earnings release and to the investor section of Pepsico’s website
under the events and presentations tab to find full explanations and reconciliations
of these non-GAAP measures. Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce Indra Nooyi. Thank you, Jamie, and good morning, everyone,
and thank you all for joining us. We will start off with an overview of second
quarter performance and a discussion of each of the operating sectors in a little more
detail, and then Hugh will cover the full year outlook. For the quarter, we delivered $16.1 billion
of net revenue, driven by 2.6% organic revenue growth and core earnings of $1.61 per share,
a 7% increase on a core constant currency basis. Overall, we are pleased with our operating
and financial performance in the quarter, especially given continued commodity inflation
and our other headwinds in the quarter such as the Brazil transportation strike. In the quarter, organic revenue growth accelerated
sequentially from the first quarter. The majority of our businesses performed very
well with particularly strong performances by Frito-Lay North America and each of the
international sectors. And NAB, North American Beverages, posted
another quarter of sequential improvement in both organic revenue and operating profit
performance. Frito-Lay North America delivered balanced
volume growth and net price realization, driven by great marketplace execution, innovation
and creative brand marketing. For example, to address consumers’ desire
for greater flavor and product variety in single-serve multi-packs, we launched a 20-count
family fun mix that include an array of products from Lay’s to Cheetos to RUFFLES with an expanded
mix of flavors, and this clearly helped drive 10% net revenue growth in our overall variety
pack business. We launched RUFFLES Mozzarella ‘n Marinara,
our latest bar food-inspired flavor, to meet the expectations of existing fans and capture
the attention of new consumers seeking a unique and fun flavor experience, and this contributed
to RUFFLES’ 10% net revenue growth in the quarter. And Doritos Blaze launched earlier this year
with the most talked-about Super Bowl ad continues to perform well above our initial expectations
and contributed to 6% net revenue growth in trademark Doritos in Q2. So overall, we are feeling very good about
Frito-Lay North America’s performance and momentum. Turning to North American Beverages. The marketplace remains highly dynamic, but
generally rational. With this as a backdrop, we’re encouraged
by the trending improvement in both net revenue and operating profit performance. After a slow start in the earlier part of
the second quarter, both for the category and North American Beverages, we saw momentum
improve and a return to net revenue growth in the back half of Q2. Within the business, trademark Pepsi continued
to make progress towards more stable performance. As we mentioned last quarter, we have stepped
up media support on trademark Pepsi under the Pepsi Generations campaign. As a result, in the second quarter, we began
to see improvements in a number of key brand health metrics that is leading to better net
revenue performance as the year progresses. So we intend to stay the course, increasing
investment behind brand support in the second half of the year with the aim of driving further
top line improvement. At the same time, we remain laser focused
on higher-growth categories with appropriate brand investment and robust innovation. For example, bubly, a cleverly marketed new
entrant in the fast-growing sparkling water segment launched earlier this year and it
continues to perform exceedingly well. Gatorade Zero, our latest hydration innovation
with 0 sugar and all the electrolytes of Gatorade just launched and is off to a great start. More importantly, trends on overall Gatorade
performance have also recently accelerated. And we’re excited about the return of Mountain
Dew Baja Blast, our summer limited time offer that just hit the shelves. So overall, we have seen sequential quarterly
improvement at NAB and we expect to see continued acceleration in top line performance in the
third quarter. At Quaker Foods North America, our hot cereal
business posted its fourth consecutive quarter of market share gains and delivered mid-single-digit
retail sales growth supported by our new ad campaign highlighting the functional benefits
of oatmeal. In addition, Quaker light snacks had double-digit
retail sales growth and our Aunt Jemima pancake business grew both retail sales and market
share for the seventh consecutive quarter. Turning now to our sectors outside of North
America. We are pleased with the more than 6% organic
revenue growth we saw in our developing and emerging market as a group. Strong marketplace execution, combined with
stable macro conditions, have led to continued solid growth across many of our key international
markets though growth was negatively impacted by the 11-day transportation strike that broadly
disrupted commerce in Brazil. Within Latin America, organic revenue grew
3.5%, driven by mid-single-digit growth in Mexico and double-digit growth in Argentina
and Colombia. We estimate the Brazil strike depressed overall
net revenue growth for Latin America by approximately 2 percentage points. In our Europe Sub-Saharan Africa sector, Russia,
Poland and South Africa each grew organic revenue high single digits and Turkey had
double-digit organic revenue growth. Even within the developed markets of Europe,
we saw mid-single-digit organic revenue growth in the U.K. and high single-digit growth in
France. And in AMENA, we had strong double-digit organic
revenue growth in China and Egypt, high single-digit organic revenue growth in Pakistan and Australia
and solid mid-single-digit organic revenue growth in India. This strong top line performance translated
into impressive bottom line results with core constant currency operating profit up 12%
in our international divisions as a group, fueled by fundamental operating performance
and the gain this year from the Thailand refranchising partially offset by lapping the gain from
our sale of Britvic shares in 2017. The international results are in part reflection
of our efforts to increasingly lift and shift successful initiatives from one market to
many and innovating on our big global brands in locally relevant ways. For instance, in Latin America, we are innovating
with Quaker super foods, a new premium platform with differentiated ingredients such as oats
with rye, amaranth, flaxseed and quinoa. In ESSA, we have lifted and shifted Off the
Eaten Path, a premium range of plant-based snacks from the U.S. to the United Kingdom. And in AMENA, we have taken our successful
Sunbites platform from the U.S. to Australia by launching Sunbites Grain Waves Plus with
the goodness of Australian whole grain corn, wheat and oats plus beetroot and sweet potato. At the same time, we have also launched in
the U.S. Red Rock Deli, one of our most successful brands in Australia. Net, we’re encouraged by the momentum we are
seeing across many of our key international markets, NAB is making steady improvement
and Frito-Lay North America is performing well. Importantly, as we manage the business for
strong performance today, we’re also taking steps to enable it to continue to perform
well in the decades ahead. We are pleased to report that in the coming
days we will publish our most recent sustainability report, discussing our progress against and
commitments to our sustainability goals. We encourage you to read the full report,
but I’d like to take just a few minutes this morning to provide you with the highlights. We are in millions of pantries and refrigerators
worldwide, so we know have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to use our scale to make
a positive impact on the world. Our customers, employees and partners feel
good knowing that we’re in a shared journey of sustainable transformation, making our
products more nutritious and more resource-efficient, dialing up the taste while reducing our environmental
footprint. Our investors can feel good knowing this makes
us a stronger business over the long term, that we can also do well by also doing good. 12 years ago, we embarked on a journey at
PepsiCo, that we call Performance with Purpose. Since then, much has changed at PepsiCo and
around the world, but the underlying principles behind Performance with Purpose remain. Much of our early work on Performance with
Purpose required us to think differently about our business and make the kinds of long-term
investments from researching and developing new, more nutritious products to finding ways
to reduce water and energy use across plants and farms that will help us deliver on the
vision of making our growth, our operations and our impact more sustainable. Sustainability has been defined as meeting
the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs. Over the last dozen years, we have tried to
meet the needs of the present while strengthening the ability of future generations to meet
theirs, integrating that aspiration into our goals for products, planet and people. Let me briefly comment on each. When it comes to products, we’ve built on
our legacy as the first company to voluntarily remove trans fats from our snacks while reducing
added sugars, sodium and saturated fat in many of our products; launching a revolutionary
nutrition-focused vending option, Hello Goodness; and growing our portfolio of what we define
as Good-for-You and Better for You options from about 38% of revenue in 2006 to roughly
50% last year. We also teamed up with others in our industry
to form the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, removing 6.4 trillion calories from our food
and beverage products, surpassing our collective pledge by more than 400%. And through Food for Good, we have provided
80 million nutritious servings to low-income U.S. families since 2009. Regarding planet, we have raised the bar for
what it means to be a responsible corporate water steward, earning the prestigious Stockholm
Industry Water Award. We’ve invested more than $40 million since
2006 to provide safe water access around the world, benefiting nearly 16 million people
in some of the planet’s most water-stressed regions. We’ve also made our delivery fleet more energy-efficient,
eliminating the need for over 1 million gallons of diesel fuel since our electric vehicle
initiative began in 2010, the equivalent of keeping more than 2,000 passenger cars off
the road for a year while also making our beverage coolers and vending machines 60%
more energy efficient. And we’re one of the world’s largest purchasers
of recycled PET. In fact, if more recycled PET were available,
we would buy it. We’ve also launched the first 100% compostable
chip bag in test markets while diverting more and more of our waste from landfill, approximately
95% as of 2017. And for people, we have reimagined what it
means to support our associates from ushering (ph) onsite and near-site childcare campuses
around the world to expanding PepsiCo University’s online course offerings to help associates
upgrade their skills to navigate a rapidly changing world. We’ve also helped lift up the communities
we serve, playing a critical role in disaster relief efforts from Texas to Florida and Puerto
Rico, Mexico to Ecuador and China to the Philippines. While we still have work to do in certain
areas, we’re incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made. Our aspiration of being a good company, good
ethically and good commercially continues to come to fruition yielding a broader, more
lasting impact than we ever imagined and setting a standard that companies across our industry
and beyond aspire to meet. Looking ahead, we will continue viewing our
work through both a microscope and a telescope, focusing on the most granular details, grams
of saturated fat, parts per billion of greenhouse gas, the number of women in management roles
as well as the larger ambition of building a business that acts in accordance with our
values, each of us striving to do what’s right for the company and what is right for our
communities because at the end of the day, there is no separating the two. With that, let me turn it over to Hugh. Thank you, Indra, and good morning, everyone. I’ll just provide a quick update on the outlook
and then we’ll move to your questions. From a macro perspective, we maintain a fairly
positive view overall. However, within this broadly positive picture,
there remains risk of volatility both in geographic markets as we saw in Brazil in the most recent
quarter and in currencies as witnessed by the recent sharp rise in the strength of the
U.S. dollar. From an industry standpoint, we continue to
see pretty challenging conditions, including a dynamic retail and consumer landscape, a
very competitive environment and ongoing commodity inflation. So putting this all together and considering
our year-to-date performance, our guidance for 2018 remains unchanged. Specifically, we expect organic revenue growth
at least in line with our 2017 growth rate or 2.3%. As we move through the year, our expectation
is that we will continue to see some levels of gross margin compression from inflationary
input costs. Normally, you would expect to see the gross
margin contraction offset with SG&A productivity. But as we have stated previously, with the
benefit of a lower effective tax rate in 2018, we are making investments to fortify the business
as well as having funded the U.S. frontline bonus and these investments will largely offset
productivity-driven margin improvement. We expect our core effective tax rate to be
in the low 20s. And we expect core earnings per share of $5.70
or a 9% increase compared to 2017 core earnings per share of $5.23.We expect to continue to
generate strong cash flow and to exercise disciplined capital allocation with prudent
reinvestment into the business. For 2018, we continue to expect free cash
flow of approximately $6 billion, which includes approximately $9 billion in cash flow from
operations, including a $1.4 billion discretionary pension contribution made in the first quarter,
and net capital spending of approximately $3.6 billion. We continue to expect to return approximately
$7 billion to shareholders in 2018 with cash dividends of approximately $5 billion, reflecting
a 15% increase in the annualized dividend per share that began with the June payment
and share repurchases of approximately $2 billion. Finally, as you update your models, I’d like
to highlight the following. We expect our rate of earnings growth to be
substantially higher in the fourth than in the third quarter. This is due to the timing of investments and
the laps associated with last year’s natural disasters. In addition, we expect the previously announced
refranchising of our Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia business operations to benefit
our fourth quarter earnings. And finally, based on market consensus forecast,
we expect foreign exchange translation to negatively impact both net revenue and operating
profit in the second half of the year, reversing the ForEx benefits that we had in the first
half. With that, operator, we’re ready to take the
first question. Operator? Hello, operator? Hi, it’s Jamie Caulfield. We appear to be experiencing some technical
difficulties in having your questions fed to us. So if I could ask you just to remain patient
for a minute while we sort this out. Thank you. Your first question comes from the line of
Dara Mohsenian of Morgan Stanley. So Indra, clearly there’s been a lot of investor
focus around the number of pressure points in the CPG industry in terms of pricing power,
brand demand fragmentation, et cetera, et cetera, and basically that some of the traditional
advantages of larger CPG companies are breaking down. In that context, I was hoping you could give
us some perspective on if there are areas of significant investment or operational changes
at Pepsi going forward beyond what you’ve already done to help position the company
versus some of those industry challenges and how realistic a long-term, high single-digit
earnings growth algorithm beyond 2018 is if you need to reinvest against some of those
pressure points? And within that answer, I was hoping specifically
you could touch on price/mix. You’ve obviously had strong pricing realization
the last few years with the inflationary commodities and the trade and tariff risk. I’d love some updated thoughts on price/mix
also within that. Thanks, Dara. And first of all, I think you asked me about
10 questions within 1 question. But given that we had this technical difficulty,
I guess you’re entitled to ask these 10 questions. I think you asked a set of very, very interesting
questions. I think the changes we are seeing in the industry
are quite interesting. And I think the changes that we are seeing
benefit companies that have already invested to build scale, build an international footprint
and have the right partnerships around the world. I think now is not the time for companies
to go and plant flags in new countries and try to startup businesses. So I actually observed that the advantaged
CPG companies are small, niche, single-country companies with small brands who grow to a
certain level and then flip it or very large, established scale companies who built businesses
in multiple geographies. And I don’t mean just planting the flag, actually
built scale. And I think PepsiCo is one of those few companies
that have actually, over the years, invested to build scale, put the right partnerships
in place, built a diversified portfolio and actually solidified our presence and we made
all the investments over the years. So that part of the investment is behind us. This next tranche of investments relate to
digitalization, thinking through more automation in our plants, in our go-to-market systems
figuring out how we can unleash more productivity, but more efficiency and effectiveness, not
just efficiency, efficiency and effectiveness, so that we can serve the changing retail world
in more efficient and productive ways. Because retailers are going to go through
their own changes. And they’re going to look at a few players
to be the anchor suppliers to them while they handle with all kinds of changes with a large
portion of the CPG world. And I think PepsiCo with its DSD systems and
with its high-velocity categories, its brand portfolio, and most importantly, innovation
becomes a very valuable partner across the world. I mean, I’ve often said this to you, when
we had just snacks or beverages going to large European retailers, we were like 37 or number
50 on the list. Now with our combined approach and our Power
of One approach, we’re in the top 5 or top 7 suppliers driving a lot of the growth. So they look at us and say there are these
large companies that drive a lot of growth in our anchor suppliers that we should just
have great relationships with, leave them aside while we focus on all the other players
that we need to either prune the portfolio or figure out how to make them more efficient. So we’re making investments in digitalization,
more automation in plants, rethinking our innovation process and making sure that we
fragment — or segment our innovation between premium, mid and value and deal with each
country and each marketplace with that sort of an architecture. And then we’re getting better and better at
lifting and shifting across the world. So Dara, I don’t think there are big bursts
of innovation required. All that we are doing is investing as we go
along. And I think Hugh talked about the fact that
we’ve been making investments in the business. We’ve been doing that deliberately and carefully
over the years. And we’re going to continue to do that. We’re going to look for ways to unleash productivity. And every time we have productivity, we’re
going to see how we judiciously reinvest in the business so that we can keep this engine
going. And in terms of price/mix, innovation is a
big driver of price/mix as is revenue management. And we’re improving our revenue management
skills all the time, applying more digital tools. When it comes to innovation, we are thinking
more and more about segmenting our innovation. And we’re also thinking about how to incubate
a niche company within our big company and that’s what we are focused on in every big
region of the world. So overall, we feel very comfortable with
our overall strategy. Your next question comes from the line of
Andrea Teixeira of JPMorgan. So I appreciate your answer to Dara, but I
was hoping if you can update us on your outlook for NAB since the last call as you are considering
strategic alternatives in the light (ph) of this combined approach with technology you
just mentioned using the OTN (ph) example. I would appreciate if you can elaborate. I’ll provide some opening comments, Andrea,
and toss to Hugh to give more color. What we told you in the last call is that
you should expect to see sequential improvement in North American Beverage performance. That’s exactly what we are focused on and
that’s what we’re delivering. Every part of the business in North American
Beverages is showing sequential improvement. In the second part of Q2, we saw significant
improvement in performance, and as we go into Q3, we feel good about the trend rate. We are playing a very responsible game in
terms of advertising and pricing. And with commodity inflation, we will continue
to play a responsible — take a responsible position in this marketplace by pushing through
pricing. So at the end of the day, our North American
Beverage business, which participates in a highly competitive category, needs to be managed
very, very carefully especially at a time when there are changes in the marketplace
from lots of competitive activity. And look, there’s always going to be short-term
reservations (ph) when competitors go through major changes in their business models. Our challenge is to maintain a very steady
hand and make the PepsiCo portfolio work for us, and that’s what we’ve been doing. I don’t know, Hugh, if you want to add anything
to this. The only thing I would add, Andrea, is hopefully
you all have seen that this management team is always focused on creating value both in
the short term and in the long term and achieving the right balance between the two. And as we look at all of the businesses, that
is our most significant focus and I think we will continue to do that just as we have. Your next question comes from the line of
Pablo Zuanic of SIG. Look, 2 quick questions. One, I understand that you’re reinvesting
overall (ph) the tax benefits, but can you clarify whether that’s more heavily geared
to reinvesting in beverages? Or is it pretty much evenly across the business? And the second question, which is related
to that, when you see a success that Coca-Cola has had with the Diet Coke new products and
with a Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, any thoughts in terms of how things will be done different
on the Pepsi side of things? And the reason I ask that is that if the brands
themselves haven’t been improved in terms of innovation, how much is reinvestment in
more marketing going to help? Pablo, we reinvested tax benefits in additional
media for NAB and wherever the businesses needed investment, we put it in. The idea is not just to invest, it’s to reinvest
judiciously so that we get a return from the investments. And we also reinvested some of the tax benefits
in our frontline bonus, so that especially people in the United States where the tax
benefits really accrued can benefit from the upside. Now when it comes to our North American Beverage
business, we are investing in CSDs, especially trademark Pepsi. And we’re investing more in trademark Pepsi
because we saw a stepped up investments in media from our competition, so we’re doing
that. When it comes to the Zero Sugar portfolio,
both between Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Zero Sugar, Pepsi Zero Sugar is growing extremely well,
extremely well. I mean, it’s a — I hate to use the word flying
off the shelves, but it’s doing exceedingly well. When it comes to Diet Pepsi, Diet Pepsi is
also back to good performance. And I have to tell you, the flavor portfolio
on Diet Pepsi and whatever competition launched, you might want to look at the numbers in a
little bit more detail because I think it’s a mixed bag. We have to be careful not to draw too much
innovation to this marketplace and sort of obfuscate the numbers. From our perspective, our Zero Sugar portfolio
between Diet and Zero Sugar, is doing well and is doing well on a sustained, consistent
basis. And we are playing the long game, Pablo, in
terms of overall liquid refreshment beverages. And we think that, that’s the right way to
play this beverage game and we feel good about where we are headed. Your next question comes from the line of
Bryan Spillane of Bank of America. Hugh, I just wanted to pick up on you made
a comment in terms of the forward guidance about gross margin still being under pressure
in second half. So I guess, a couple questions. I guess that implies we should expect that
gross margins might be down in the second half and then maybe what some of the pressure
points are, what sort of inflation and I guess also maybe transactional FX. If you could just kind of walk us through
what’s going to drive that pressure in gross margins in the second half and maybe what
mitigation you might have as we look forward into ’19? Yes, Bryan, happy to do that. So a couple comments. When I say gross margins under pressure, I’m
talking about relatively nominal pressure as we’ve seen over the last several quarters. A combination of a couple of factors on gross
margin: number one, obviously commodity inflation has picked up a bit. Certainly, we’ve seen a bit more in oil, and
in addition to that, in aluminum. Second, transport costs have also been under
some pressure with the driver shortage in the United States. And then, third, in international markets,
as you know, where we have seen some inflation, we do tend to price a bit behind inflation
and try to drive productivity in order to offset that. And then, obviously, we’re reinvesting the
tax benefit in the form of new capabilities, so you don’t see the productivity flow through
as you normally might in SG&A. So those are the several factors that are
driving it. Overall, as I said, we expect full year to
be on the 9% that we originally committed to and we’re balancing the internal workings
of the P&L to make that happen. Your next question comes from the line of
Ali Dibadj of Bernstein. So just wanted to ask a little bit more about
the sustainability of your results going forward along 3 dimensions. First is the sustainability of onetimers,
like Thailand and Britvic and coming up on Czech Republic here in your core results. Should we continue to expect things like that
to be a consistent part of your algorithm going forward? How much more of those types of things you
have to sell? Second, in terms of pricing, it continues
to be a big driver obviously for Latin America and you’re willing to continue to sacrifice
a little bit of volume there again. How much longer do you think that’s sustainable? And then, third, on NAB improvements, very
pleased that they’re on track, both you and I. If you can give us more about whether you
believe that was actually driven by advertising increases? Was there an advertising increase in particular
in NAB overall as opposed to just Pepsi because you called out Pepsi, but I don’t see it in
the release for the segment NAB. Or is there something else that drove that
improvement? And so will that improvement you guys believe
continue not just going through this quarter, but going forward? I’m going to take the third one and then,
Hugh, I’m going to toss it to you to talk about the first 2, okay? NAB improvement, again, Ali, as I mentioned,
we are playing the LRB game. We are looking to improve our position in
the liquid refreshment beverage category because we play in pretty much every category in LRB,
most of them, but very, very strong brands. And in terms of A&M spending, we increased
A&M spending on trademark Pepsi as we mentioned we were going to do. And because the A&M gets curved in (ph), you’ll
see the benefits flowing through in Q3 and Q4 more as we go through. And we are seeing the improvement in brand
health metrics and we are seeing a sequential improvement in the performance of the business. So believe me, we are focused maniacally on
tracking the performance and the results of all of our increased spending. And what we’re seeing in the results that
gives us confidence to tell you what we told you on the call today. So on balance, we are feeling good about the
NAB performance trends. Now let me turn it to Hugh to talk about the
onetimers and pricing, especially in countries like — regions like Latin America. Yes, happy to, Ali. In terms of onetimers, if you look at our
record over the last 4 or 5 years, we’ve always had some onetimers in whether it’s refranchising
of businesses or sales of businesses or assets. So that’s going to continue to be a factor
as it has been. In terms of Latin America, without a doubt,
where you have high-inflation environments, we’ve tended to price through the vast majority
of that inflation, and as a result, it’s improved our revenue results, sometimes at the expense
of volume. As you see the inflation rates come down in
those countries, obviously our pricing will diminish, but we do expect that our volume
will pick up as a result of that. And we expect to continue to see strong results
out of Latin America and other places that have historically had high inflation where
the numbers have come down a bit. But I think the most important thing on onetimers,
Hugh, we don’t do onetimers to deliver earnings. We do onetimers because we think it’s the
right business model for those countries. And what we’re trying to do is to strengthen
the core business so that we have the right partner to boost the performance of the beverage
business in certain markets, we’ll franchise it to them. And if we think we are better off operating
it, we’ll do that. So I think we use onetimers in a very judicious,
strategic way to improve the overall performance of the company. Your next question comes from the line of
Judy Hong of Goldman Sachs. So Indra, I guess I just wanted to get a little
bit more color on the Gatorade performance. Trends have gotten a little bit better recently. The comps are getting easier, so maybe that’s
also helping. But just wanted to also get a better sense
of maybe some of the brand health metrics that you talked about as really to — maybe
that was, I think, more of a Pepsi trademark comment, but on Gatorade specifically. And then as you think about Gatorade Zero,
a little bit more color just in terms of the positioning of that particular line and how
much marketing investments that you’re making on that line? Gatorade is actually doing very well and whether
it’s helping, for sure, but the underlying Gatorade trademark is very, very strong. And Gatorade always attracts new players into
the marketplace and they come in with either lower prices or they try to come in and build
distribution and they might take a few share points in any quarter or two. But then, over time, if you look at it over
a period of 5 or 7 years, the Gatorade franchise has been extremely resilient and has basically
held onto its leadership position. We’ve innovated to build shoulders with the
Gatorade recovery drinks, the Gatorade Chews before you start exercising and then we have
segmented along flavors and then across different sports. Many of our consumers wanted a Gatorade Zero
for the light exerciser who didn’t want the carbohydrates that real athletes needed. And so we launched Gatorade Zero. Even though there’s Propel also, they wanted
to be seen with a Gatorade, so we launched Gatorade Zero. And we keep advertising along the entire trademark. And we have never wavered from advertising
to athletes and to active exercisers and that’s going to be a continuous focus of Gatorade. It’s a very strong, resilient franchise and
we feel good about where it is and where it’s headed. Your next question comes from the line of
Lauren Lieberman of Barclays. I was curious you had mentioned sort of 2
different types of comments around brands and innovation. So one bucket was sort of the discussion of
lift and shift continuing to support and build your biggest franchises. And then, Indra, you also mentioned the idea
of incubating niche brands or companies within market. So was curious if you could kind of put those
2 together, and in particular, what I’ve been most curious about is how PepsiCo is thinking
about a small brand strategy if you want or need to have one in the beverage business? Because when I look at some of the work you’ve
done in the last 2 years, LIFEWTR, bubly, it’s very much a strategy of drive a blockbuster
win, not build something slowly and patiently through single serve and discovery. So I was curious your thoughts around the
viability of a small brand strategy within PepsiCo and if that was something you were
focusing on? It’s actually a great question, Lauren. Actually, if I look back especially the last
5 years of beverages, we’ve had some spectacular new products, which for any small startup
company would have been a blockbuster. But for PepsiCo, because we put it through
DSD system, unless it reaches a scale of a LIFEWTR or bubly in the first 12 to 18 months,
we can’t support it because many times the space has to come out of the core cooler or
the core aisle. And so we look at differential velocities
and then the DSD system tends to kill it. And if I look at products like Lemon Lemon
from last year, it was rated the best new product launch of last year. It reached a pretty impressive level of sales,
yet on the DSD system it didn’t do that well because it was cannibalizing space from a
core CSD category. So what we have created now is this new entity
within PepsiCo called The Hive. It’s a separate group. Just like we did with the e-commerce, we’ve
taken it out of the core headquarter. It’s going to be an entrepreneurial group
that’s going to take some of the best new products that we launched and reached a certain
size, but we never really allowed it to thrive in the DSD system. We will nurture it and incubate it in whatever
distribution system they think is the best for it. And when it reaches a certain size, we can
decide whether it should come into the DSD system or not. And this group is also going to look at other
venturing brands they can bring in. And we want to create an environment where
we have a business within a business, a small entrepreneurial sort of agile group that’s
thinking about the new age consumer that loves discovery brands while allowing the big brands
to thrive in the overall mother ship. This is not new to PepsiCo North America. We are doing something like this in Europe
also. It’s a very local business, so we have to
be careful not to make it global. It’s a very local business. And we’re going to play with these businesses
because there is a consumer that is willing to pay for discovery brands and they can reach
a decent level of growth. And so we’re going to go off and see how to
make it happen. We’re feeling excited about what we’ve just
launched. Let’s see what happens the next few months
and years. Your next question comes from the line of
Steve Powers of Deutsche Bank. So going back to North American Beverages
for a minute. It does indeed look like we’re on track for
a return to growth in the second half, which is great. I’d just love a little bit more context about
what you might feel are the top success factors in that path, whether it’s key launch like
Gatorade Zero, better realized price/mix as inflation builds more of an inflection in
core Pepsi or just are there 1 or 2 priorities on your scorecard that you could call out
for us, that’d be great. And then, secondly, as you’ve been open about
your ongoing assessment of strategic options for the bottling utility, as you called it,
whether that’s constituting a stand-alone entity or putting it in the hands of multiple
franchisees or keeping it as part of PepsiCo, I’m just curious as to whether or not you’ve
narrowed in on any subset of those options? Or what the time frame might be for you being
in a position to communicate your path forward to the market? Hugh? Yes, Steve, happy to answer those questions. First, in terms of the priorities, if nothing
else, what we saw last year and we’ve certainly seen in this year, we need to be able to both
make sure the big businesses are on track in North America Beverages. Those big businesses obviously are Pepsi,
Mountain Dew and Gatorade. What we’ve seen over the last couple of quarters
is certainly a strengthening in the Mountain Dew business, both the core green bottle business
as well as the innovation with Ice and now the return of Baja Blast, which has always
been a Mountain Dew fan favorite. Second obviously is Gatorade. Gatorade certainly is a business that’s now
back on track and we’re very excited about the innovation. Gatorade Zero really meets, I think, a very
unmet need for the lapsed Gatorade user because, as Indra pointed out earlier, they just don’t
want the calories, but they want the Gatorade brand. And then Pepsi where we knew we needed to
increase the advertising. We knew we needed to have a good campaign
this year. That obviously takes longer to do. The quantity is easier to turn on, but just
getting into consumers’ minds takes a period of time. So first sort of big priority is making sure
the big businesses are doing well. Second is continue to execute against the
innovations in the newer categories, whether it’s bubly or continuing to execute LIFEWTR
or continuing to make sure newer brands like KeVita do well. That’s the additive that sort of creates the
growth in the business. The core brands grow at a certain rate, and
all of those new innovations create the incremental growth. So I think we need to be able to do both. North America Beverage is obviously of big,
nuanced, complex business and we need to do more than 1 or 2 things well, we need to do
most things well for that business to perform and that’s what you see happening. Regarding strategic options, nothing new to
report on that. We’ll continue to look at options to create
value not only in that business, but across all of our businesses. Your next question comes from the line of
Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo. So I just wanted to talk about Frito-Lay North
America. Your growth really has been impressive both
on the top and bottom line. So how sustainable is this from a long-term
perspective? And then could you guys walk through for us
any productivity initiatives that you’ve specifically implemented in Frito-Lay that you possibly
could implement across the rest of your businesses? I mean, Frito-Lay, the reason the growth is
impressive is because Frito-Lay plays in salty snacks and the entire macro snack space is
there for the taking. And so Frito-Lay focuses on the core and then
inches out of the core by taking occasions from the rest of macro snacks. And the innovation engine is very geared to
going out and building both frequency and penetration and picking up more and more snacking
occasions. And as long as they keep doing that, they
should be able to deliver the growth. The DSD apparatus is an extremely impressive
machine and that actually helps sustain Frito-Lay’s growth. In terms of productivity initiatives, we’ve
talked about GES, Bonnie. GES is now rolling out to multiple locations. It’s doing 2 things: one is delivering more
productivity, but more importantly, it’s debottlenecking the system because it’s allowing us to put
more SKUs and be more customer-specific in our picking. And so GES has actually been a big benefit
for us. And then deploying more digital technologies
across Frito-Lay is actually delivering more productivity. The good news is as North America — tools
that North American Beverages develops goes to Frito-Lay and what Frito-Lay develops comes
to North America. And so we have a wonderful transfer of knowledge
and tests that’s happening between the 2 businesses. And so we can take the customer base, both
traditional trades — up and down the street and big organized accounts and figure out
how to serve them better, whether you call it geo box at our beverage business so GES
and Frito-Lay, there’s a lot of information exchange going on. And overall, I think both businesses are high-velocity
businesses and they’re able to unleash productivity to reinvest to keep this growth engine going. Do you want to add anything, Hugh? No, I think you’ve captured it very well. Your next question comes from the line of
Amit Sharma of BMO Capital Markets. Indra, a quick clarification. You did say you expect to take pricing in
NAB CSDs. Can you talk about how quickly we should expect
you to roll out pricing and to what extent? And then another one, gas prices are now a
multiyear high. Are you seeing any change in consumer behavior
especially in the c-store channel? Yes. To answer your first question first, I think
you’ll see incremental pricing benefit in the third quarter and then you’ll see more
in the fourth quarter. Regarding gas prices, convenience channel
was up about 3%, I believe, overall for the second quarter. So I think given the healthiness of the overall
economy, that’s more than offsetting the gas price increases. Your next question comes from the line of
Mark Swartzberg of Stifel. Hugh, just for you. On CapEx, could you remind us why the $3.6
billion is higher than it’s been historically and how representative you think that is of
future CapEx either in absolute terms or relative to sales? Yes. So our previously discussed long-term guidance
is equal to or less than 5% of net revenue. No update on that right now. Bigger investments in a couple of places. Latin America, we’ve seen capital spending
go up as we’ve implemented some of the GES solutions that Indra has mentioned on the
previous question. Number two, we’re investing more in Frito-Lay
because we’re identifying projects to drive continued growth and productivity. And number three, North America Beverage,
as the single-serve strategy has continued to be successful, we’re adding capacity in
certain places. Your next question comes from the line of
Robert Ottenstein of Evercore. Indra, in the past, you’ve given us a little
bit more color in terms of market share gains and value share gains and clearly you’re doing
very well outside of the U.S. Can you perhaps give us a little bit of sense
of where you’re gaining share in important international markets and where things are
more challenging? And then, secondly, bubly, off to a great
start. Perhaps if you could maybe stand back a little
bit and give us a sense of where you see yourself taking your water strategy and what percentage
of the business it is right now. In terms of share gains internationally, I
think overall salty snacks globally, I think, in 75% of the markets we are holding or gaining
share. Remember, internationally, we also have a
lot of local low-cost competitors. In spite of that, I think 70%, 75% of the
markets we hold or gain share. I think in 60% of the markets, we’re gaining
share. In about 75%, we either hold or gain. I’m giving you rough numbers, Robert. In terms of beverages, again, in many of the
markets that we participate, as PepsiCo, about 50% or 60% of the markets, we’re actually
holding or gaining share. Then the other markets, we go in and out. One quarter, we may gain share. One quarter, local competitor or a global
competitor may gain share. So we trade shares on a quarterly basis based
on what we are lapping or what specific blockbuster marketing initiative is being implemented
at that time. But overall, what we are focused on is, on
an annual basis, how do we make sure that we don’t do anything crazy just to gain share. We participate in a very responsible way. And somewhere between 60% and 75% of our markets,
if we can hold or gain share, that’s a very sustainable, deliberate strategy. And that’s really what we are focused on globally
both the snacks and beverages and now more and more in our nutrition businesses, which
we are trying to figure out what the relevant marketplace is and how do we calculate a fair
market share number. So that’s, roughly speaking, where we are
on share. On water Indra, just. Oh, water, yeah. Just I’ll finish Robert’s question. It’s about 12% of our volume, Robert, round
numbers. And in terms of water strategy, obviously
we have a case pack water business that provides baseload volume and then we are increasingly
segmenting that business, whether it be with flavored still waters, whether it be with
flavored sparkling waters in the form of bubly, whether it be in the form of LIFEWTR, which
obviously appeals to a large consumer segment and one that continues to grow well for us. So I think you’ll continue to see us segment
the water category into profitable niches to go along with the large-scale case pack
water businesses. Your next question comes from the line of
Nik Modi of RBC Capital Markets. So Indra, I was hoping you can provide some
of the logic behind the various refranchising initiatives PepsiCo has undertaken in the
international markets and how any early learnings could inform the beverage strategy in the
U.S. and I guess the main question is, is it even translatable, that would be really
helpful to understand. Nik, I’d tell you that’s a good question and
let me just offer some points. When we refranchise, it’s usually to somebody
who already has a portfolio of beverages. Because Pepsi internationally, in many markets,
we don’t have a full lineup of beverages. We participate only in a small lineup. We partner with somebody who has their own
LRB products and together we cover the entire line. An example would be something like a Postobón
in Colombia that has their own line of noncarbs. And then we come in with our portfolio, and
together, we have a fantastic leadership position in Colombia. What we are looking at, and Hugh talked about
our Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia beverage operations, we’re refranchising it to a partner
who already has a lineup of LRB and we complete the portfolio. So our system actually is much more robust
than people realize because, as a system, we are much stronger than just PepsiCo in
the international beverage business and that’s why we feel good about the beverage business. And the early learnings are make sure if you’re
going to refranchise, refranchise to somebody who knows how to run the beverage business
and they have a portfolio that, together, the 1 plus 1 is a 3 not detracting from our
own performance. So that’s all we are going to focus on going
forward and those are the learnings from our beverage refranchising. Your next question comes from the line of
Bill Chappell of SunTrust. Question on just the momentum on NAB that
you talked about as it’s kind of started slow and had good momentum at the end. I mean, that tracks with kind of what we saw
in North America weather in terms of cold and wet late March, April, early May and then
came back roaring and then very hot. So trying to understand what you see that
makes you feel that it’s beyond weather, I mean, lifting the whole category? Are you seeing kind of market share? Especially in CSDs, are you seeing something
stabilize? Or what gives you so much confidence that
carry through as we get to kind of more normal weather, albeit easier comps in the back half? Weather is clearly a factor. I mean, I would be lying if I didn’t tell
you that hot weather helps the beverage business. But I think on top of that, our brand health
metrics are all trending the right way. The business is trending the right way. And pretty much all of our franchises we are
seeing sequential improvement in performance. And so even businesses that had difficult
laps we are seeing sequential improvement in performance. So I think if this continues, this bodes well
for NAB. So thank you all for your questions. Let me summarize. The business overall is performing well in
a highly dynamic environment, and we remain on track to deliver our financial goals for
the year. We remain highly focused on driving better
operating profit from North American Beverages and we’re encouraged by the sequential improvement
we’ve seen in NAB. Just as important, even as we remain highly
focused on performing well in the current and coming quarters, we remain committed to
continuing to transform the business to strengthen its sustainability and durability to perform
well far into the future. Thank you for joining us this morning, and
thank you for the confidence you’ve placed in us with your investment. Thank you. Thank you. That does conclude PepsiCo’s second quarter
2018 earnings conference call. You may now disconnect.

Robin Kshlerin

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