PepsiCo Chairman Indra Nooyi met Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal in the capital today. Discussions were held on a wide range of topics concerning the food processing sector.
Nooyi said that her company had already invested substantially in India and it wished to double this investment in the coming years. Nooyi also stressed that PepsiCo would endeavour to provide such products that are healthy and nutritious.
The minister stressed on the potential for providing healthy meals to children in their tiffin boxes. Highlighting that large segments of kids in the rural areas are suffering from iron deficiency, Badal proposed that PepsiCo should partner with India for further research and development in developing such processed food products that can be supplied as part of the mid-day meals in rural India.
PepsiCo has been requested to further bring down the sugar content of soft drinks so that the health aspects of such products are duly taken care of. Badal urged the company to bring out such new products in the market that are tasty as well as healthy and nutritious. She cited the example of oat-based products that can be developed as part of the food processing sector to provide choice of healthy and nutritious food products to consumers at reasonable prices.
Nooyi has met Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, too. Officials in the ministry and spokesperson of the company declined to comment on the agenda of the meeting, seen as a courtesy call. Nooyi is also expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during her India visit.
PepsiCo head’s stress on healthy food may sound ironical to many, given the company’s long record of fighting charges of adulteration and the fact that junk food is its mainstay in the market.