PepsiCo launches a recipe hub and cookbooks to encourage kitchen creativity

The number of Americans preparing meals at home has increased during the pandemic, and the trend is set to continue as coronavirus cases rise over the winter months.

To inspire and delight home cooks during a difficult time, PepsiCo is launching a number of innovations: a new recipe hub titled Smile With Every Bite and two cookbooks – one with recipes that contain Cheetos and one with them Mountain Dew recipes.

The website, which sorts dishes by occasion and brand, has creations like Lay & # 39; s Hashbrown Casserole, Smartfood Popcorn Holiday Wreath Cake, and Grilled Jalapeño Poppers from Ruffles Jalapeño Ranch. The ingredient lists contain links to products from PepsiCo's Frito-Lay and Quaker portfolios that users can purchase online.

The book on the subject of Cheetos is called Bon-Appe-Cheetos: A Christmas Cookbook by Chester & Friends and contains 22 dishes such as Flamin ’Hot Tamales and roasted green tomatoes with a dash of lettuce. Fans can pick up a limited edition copy by donating at least $ 35 to World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit, or participating in a social media competition. The Big Bold Book of MTN DEW Recipes has 40 items ranging from Mountain Dew Pancakes to Mountain Dew Code Red Brisket. The cookbook, with which the 80th birthday of the drink is to be celebrated, is available in the brand's online shop.

Rachel Ferdinando, SVP and CMO of Frito-Lay North America, said people were looking for ways to incorporate PepsiCo's snack brands into their own cooking routines and that the company had to change its customer loyalty strategy to address those desires Consumers.

"As the course of this pandemic has evolved, we need to reassess the role our brands are playing in this new normal," said Ferdinando. "We saw that people's relationship with food has continued to change."

She found that internal research shows that around two-thirds of people are currently cooking at home to keep themselves entertained. Similarly, a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers in May found that 69% of consumers who have spent more time cooking recently said the activity had improved their quality of life.

And after a few months under lockdown, many people seem hungry for new ways to experiment in the kitchen. Data from Pinterest shows that the search for recipes for finger food starters increased 49 times in October compared to the same month last year. The search for groceries, like homemade jam instructions or ideas for leftover spaghetti, has also increased.

Last year, PepsiCo ecommerce sales were nearly $ 2 billion. The business has only grown since then. Ramon Laguarta, CEO of PepsiCo, told investors in October that e-commerce sales nearly doubled in the company's final quarter. At the start of the pandemic, in May, the CPG giant launched two direct-to-consumer websites – Snacks.com and PantryShop.com – to meet the growing demand for online options.

Regarding the trend, which is maintaining its current pace, Ferdinando is optimistic that the "reintegration into cooking" will continue at home with the family.

Other packaged food manufacturers have also been busy bringing out the original cooked content in the past few months. For example, McCormick & Co. has created step-by-step cooking programs on social media with McCormick's food stylist Rachel Miller and chef Kevan Vetter. Betty Crocker, owned by General Mills, has published affordable recipes for beginners. Just this week Conagra Brands and Kraft Heinz published new recipes for a queso-inspired soup and breakfast packaging on Conagra's recipe portal ReadySetEat.com. The two companies have teamed up for the past decade to release a variety of queso dishes made with canned ro-tel tomatoes, green chillies, and Velveeta cheese.

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