London, Dec 30 (ANI): Already facing stiff competition from U.S. rivals Coca Cola Co and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc, PepsiCo is now rolling out a new product - a 'drinkable' snack 'Tropolis'.
The company is hoping its new pureed fruit product will improve its flagging sales, reports the Daily Mail.
'Tropolis', an 80-calorie fruit puree, is considered thick enough to be a snack rather than a beverage and will be marketed to mothers and children.
With the aim of expanding its product line into nutritious convenience foods, PepsiCo's Tropicana unit is rolling out apple, grape and cherry flavours of the new product in the U.S. Midwest next month.
Shares in PepsiCo have been lagging behind Coca Cola and Dr Pepper, both of which have no significant food business.
The company is best known for its namesake cola and Lay's potato chips, part of its 'fun-for-you' and 'better-for-you' ranges, which make up 50 billion dollars of the company's 60 billion dollars in revenue.
But Chairman Indra Nooyi is staking her reputation on building up the 'good-for-you' portfolio to close the gap on rivals.
She said she aims to triple the nutrition arm of PepsiCo from 10billion dollars to 30billion dollars by 2020.
The researchers who developed Tropolis said the texture has been designed in such a way that it would flow out of the pouch openings.
The mix of juice and puree has been adjusted to achieve the desired thickness without adding gums or starches and ingredients include apple puree, filtered water, banana puree concentrate and three other kinds of fruit concentrate.
Meanwhile, Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at the New York University, said the product was simply sugar.
"They start out with real food, so let's give them credit for apple sauce and mashed-up bananas, but the rest of it is sugar. Kids would be better off eating an apple or a banana," she said.
PepsiCo already sells smoothies under its 'Naked Juice' line. (ANI)