A holistic approach to health at PepsiCo

02 Jan 2018
Ina Andersson

A holistic approach to health at PepsiCo

This post, written by C3’s Ina Andersson, is based on a piece of work by C3 creating case studies showcasing workplace health initiatives across a range of companies and organisations. You can read these case studies through our blog.



This case study details PepsiCo’s Healthy Living Programme which focused on four key areas: smoking cessation, diet & hydration, physical activity and mental wellbeing. In 2016, PepsiCo’s Healthy Living agenda was realigned to PepsiCo’s Global framework and is described in ‘the future’ section below.

The Healthy Living Programme offered a range of initiatives and benefits to employees, including access to physical-activity opportunities, and healthy food options, as well as to telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). The strategy was aligned with PepsiCo’s senior management’s belief that ensuring that staff are healthy makes good business sense.



PepsiCo considers employee health and wellbeing to be a key priority, and works to establish a culture that both encourages and enables staff to live a healthy life. Senior management strongly believe that there is a business case for improving the mental as well as physical health of employees. PepsiCo describes committing to creating an environment that enables and encourages healthy lifestyles as ‘future proofing’ its business for long-term success.



PepsiCo has a recognised Health and Wellness Strategy, the Healthy Living Programme. From 2013 onwards, the strategy has focused on four key areas of activity: smoking cessation, diet & hydration, physical activity and mental wellbeing. The underpinning principles for the delivery of the programme are professional support, active engagement with employees, healthy choices and education. PepsiCo also offers CBT over the telephone to employees.



Employees at all 11 PepsiCo UK sites can benefit from the workplace health initiatives. The CBT programme was piloted in two factory locations, then another two after its initial success, and has in 2016 been rolled out to 9 sites.



All 4,700 PepsiCo UK employees.



Ongoing since 2010, but the current focus on the specific four areas has been ongoing since 2013. The CBT programme was piloted in 2014–15, and has expanded and continued in 2016.



The focus of PepsiCo’s Healthy Living Programme is to develop impactful, sustainable and evidence-based initiatives that deliver improved employee health and benefit the company’s overall financial performance. It offers employees the opportunity both to assess their own health and wellness, and to take action to improve it.

To drive the health and wellbeing programme forward, PepsiCo has a dedicated Health Champion at each of its 11 sites. The Champions attend quarterly meetings, share ideas on workplace health, talk about what is coming up and let PepsiCo know where they need support. Health Champions get time off in their working day to attend the meetings.

Benefits on offer to employees on diet & hydration include vouchers for the Slimming World programme and improved meal options in the staff canteen. For physical activity, PepsiCo has organised for staff to take part in physical activity challenges such as the Global Corporate Challenge to increase their daily step count. Health kiosk screening has also been made available so that employees can track their health. On mental wellbeing, PepsiCo is an active participant in mental-health awareness campaigns such as the Time to Talk Days; employees recorded over 28 hours of 5-minute conversations about mental health with their colleagues in 2015 and 25 hours in 2016.

As for the CBT programme, after trialling both face-to-face and a telephone-based delivery method for six months, PepsiCo made the decision to only continue with the telephone-based stepped-care approach. This is now available at 9 UK sites and to field-based employees.



PepsiCo has recorded a positive impact in a number of areas due to its Health and Wellness Strategy. For example, there has been an increase in healthy food options available in the staff canteen, from 65 per cent of meals in 2014, to 71 per cent in 2015. The Slimming World programme has seen a gradual uptake of the voucher scheme, but with effective results. 200 employees have participated and 56 per cent of those have achieved a 3 per cent weight loss, 37 per cent have achieved a 5 per cent weight loss, and 7 per cent an impressive 10 per cent weight loss.

After the Global Corporate Challenge in 2016, 74 per cent of employees are meeting the recommendation of 10,000 steps per day, up from 22 per cent prior to the challenge in the same year. 72 per cent of employees who tracked their weight during the challenge reported weight loss.

A total of 34 per cent of PepsiCo employees participated in health kiosk screening in 2015.

Through a Global Centre of Excellence certification process, PepsiCo UK has achieved ‘cutting edge’ status in relation to its wellness programme for the past three years.



One of the main challenges that PepsiCo has faced have been around engagement with initiatives, which differs considerably depending on the site and its demographics. PepsiCo recruits from some areas with fairly poor health indicators, which in itself is a challenge, as those groups may not be very easy to engage. Knowing what initiatives work at what site is also a challenge – some sites have an 80 per cent male and 20 per cent female workforce or employees may be mostly 40+, so initiatives have to be tailored accordingly. To overcome these challenges, PepsiCo seeks to offer a range of different activities and tools to suit everyone, as well as constantly refresh and renew programmes and monitor their success.

Evaluation happens mainly around the success of a specific initiative. PepsiCo looks at metrics from the programme, baseline data and then creates an outcome report. Through initiatives such as Global Corporate Challenge or Slimming World it is possible to see the impact the initiative has had on employee’s health. Global Corporate Challenge records step count throughout and Slimming World record data on weight loss. The most powerful feedback, however, is the anecdotal feedback received from staff:


‘I just wanted to write what a fantastic experience I have had with the fitness challenges over the last few years with PepsiCo. I find the group element the most fun part of the challenges each year, as your part of a team that wants to get fit and you have fun doing it. I have kept my healthy eating going after previous years challenges and found it has changed me for good.’

– Employee on physical activity


‘The Time To Talk programme that was held at Peterlee is another way of how the company supports employees and gives me an opportunity to thank the site again for the support I had with mental health. The mindfulness programme I was introduced to has been a massive support to me and I use it as a tool of support everyday both at home and at work and to change my lifestyle.  The programme is very popular and big TV stars use it as I have noticed it has been spoken about many times on TV.’

– Employee on mental health


The future

In autumn 2017, PepsiCo’s Health & Wellness Manager Kim Swift reported many exciting updates for PepsiCo’s wellbeing programme. The Healthy Living agenda was realigned to PepsiCo’s Global framework in 2016 and has a 3-pillar approach:

  1. Be Well (physical health initiatives such as healthy eating, physical activity, smoking cessation, health screening etc.),
  2. Find Balance (mental health and emotional wellbeing)
  3. and Get Involved (engagement and sustainability initiatives)

Additionally, PepsiCo UK:

  • recently launched (September 2017) a new Psychological Therapy Service which encompasses the full spectrum of mental health support ranging from CBT to EMDR to Psychiatric support and offers telephonic, virtual and face to face support – available to all UK employees at all locations.


  • Still has Slimming World available to all employees


  • Has recently participated in the Global Challenge for the 3rd year running.


  • Now offers health screenings – new partnership from November 2016 offering an intuitive, personalised digital health platform to all employees and their families, onsite health checks and 1:1 face to face appointments offering advice and guidance and biometric assessment including cholesterol and glucose testing.


Visit our blog for more workplace health case studies.


This work was carried out by C3 and supported by the Health Foundation.