PURCHASE, NY -- PepsiCo said it has entered into a four-year partnership with a developer of food and beverage flavor ingredients that reportedly will allow it to bring lower-calorie beverages to market using natural, high-potency sweeteners.
Under the agreement, PepsiCo will have exclusive rights to Senomyx Inc.'s sweet-flavor ingredients developed through the collaboration for use in nonalcoholic beverage categories. Senomyx will receive an upfront payment of $30 million from PepsiCo and will also be entitled to $32 million in research and development payments over the four-year research period.
Senomyx chief executive Kent Snyder said the partnership would allow the company to expand its research efforts to discover enhancers of sweeteners such as sucrose and fructose and identify new, natural high-potency sweeteners.
PepsiCo chief scientific officer Mehmood Khan added: "This relationship with Senomyx reflects our increasingly long-term approach to research and development as well as our belief that global food and beverage companies can play an important role in identifying new ingredients that can lead to healthier products."
Kahn observed that beverage giant's biggest challenge is to create "healthy" products that also taste good. "Senomyx has unique technologies that will allow us to improve the nutritional profile of our products without sacrificing taste," he said.
The cold drink scientist predicted that the collaboration will help PepsiCo reach its goal of reducing added sugar per serving by 25% in major brands in key markets over the next decade.