PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo Inc. has launched The Hive, a platform meant to develop smaller, emerging brands within its North American portfolio. The company looks to build sustainable value propositions, drive distribution and transition brands into a larger marketplace within this new program. Brands selected for The Hive include organic oat producer Maker Oats and beverage labels Stubborn Soda and Looza.
Emily Silver, former vice president and general manager of PepsiCo Lipton North America, has been named general manager of The Hive. She will report to Seth Kaufman, president of PepsiCo North America Nutrition.
“We continue to learn a great deal every single day from our own innovation and experimentation experiences, from unique external partnerships we’ve crafted and from observing entrepreneurial food and beverage companies both large and small," said Kaufman. “We will channel that experience in this team to act with the agility of a small company, but with access to the knowledge, scale and resources of PepsiCo. Rapidly adapting to changing consumer needs in a sustainable way includes fundamentally new operating models, and I could not be more excited to launch this important new group for PepsiCo.”
PepsiCo intends to bolster its emerging brands through new product development, an “open-source” innovation and incubation model, and by working with its Ventures Group, which has already invested in brands such as KeVita, creator of sparkling probiotic drinks, Kombucha beverages and apple cider vinegar tonics.
“We’re formalizing a venue to embrace the agile mindset of a startup by giving this team independence and leeway to rethink what exists today while still being able to call on the tremendous resources of PepsiCo,” said Kaufman. “This is how we’ll deliver on consumers’ changing preferences and the fast-moving landscape like never before.”
This isn’t the first emerging brand platform developed in the snacking and beverage channels. In October 2016, yogurt producer Chobani launched its inaugural incubator program, which featured brands such as Banza, Chops Snacks, Cisse Cocoa Co. and Jar Goods. In March 2018, the Kraft Heinz Co. revealed its Springboard Platform, dedicated to developing disruptive brands including Ayoba-Yo, Cleveland Kraut and Quevos.
Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo generated more than $63 billion in net revenue in 2017. The company has a portfolio of more than 22 brands that generates more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. These brands include Frito-Lay, Pepsi, Quaker, Tropicana and Gatorade.