Pepsi (Stock Quote: PEP) has just announced that it will stop selling some of its most unhealthy products in schools worldwide by 2010. Students will have to find another way to satisfy their caffeine and sugar urges.
USA Today reports that Pepsi will “voluntarily remove high-calorie sweetened drinks from schools for kids up to age 18 in more than 200 countries by 2012.” This comes on the heels of an announcement from Coke (Stock Quote: COKE) last month that they would stop selling sugared drinks in primary schools, though they fell short of including high schools.
It might seem strange for a company to voluntarily cut off its customer base, but Pepsi is responding to a growing chorus of voices calling for healthier foods to be served in schools in the hopes of reducing childhood obesity. So arguably, while they may lose money on this initially, it could certainly boost their PR around the world, and cast Coke in a bad light.
Besides, even if Pepsi removes its soda and sugary drinks from schools, they can continue to sell other items like Aquafina and Sobe. Also, we wonder if this policy is just for students, or if soda will be removed from teachers’ lounges as well. I seem to remember a certain math teacher who lived on Mountain Dew.