PepsiCo CEO Talks Tailgating on CNBC

Nooyi to critics: No snack-soft drink split

Indra Nooyi PepsiCo CNBC

Indra Nooyi

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- To those who say PepsiCo's snack and soft drink businesses should be split up, CEO Indra Nooyi posed this question: "If you eat a bag of Fritos, do you reach for a beverage?"

In an interview Friday on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Nooyi insisted, "These two categories are better together, not just in the United States, but around the world."

At the CNBC-Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in July, activist investor Nelson Peltz argued that consumer tastes are turning against soft drinks, and Pepsi's snack unit is being overshadowed by its underperforming beverage unit.

Peltz, a major Pepsi shareholder, said at the time that the company should buy Mondelez--the snack food company spun off from Kraft in 2012--and then sell Pepsi's soft drink business altogether.

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Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses are Pepsi, Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade and Plan, Texas-based Frito-Lay.