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With $70.37 billion in revenue, PepsiCo is the world's second-largest food and beverage business
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco speak with Antonio Tataranni, Chief Medical Officer at PepsiCo. The company's products were distributed across more than 200 countries, and with $70.37 billion in revenue in 2020, it's the second-largest food and beverage business in the world.
With this podcast, what we’re trying to understand is, given the way healthcare delivery is changing, and the fact that corporations cover the biggest populations, how are they adapting to this new world? How are they caring for their employees through the use of new technologies? And how has COVID changed the way companies view their responsibility in providing healthcare to their employees?
Tataranni has three roles at PepsiCo: he is the Chief Medical Officer, where he oversees all aspects of PepsiCo's efforts to protect its global workforce, products, and, the communities that it serves, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also the Senior Vice President for the Life Sciences department where he's responsible for leading the development and execution of the company's nutrition and bio sciences strategy. Finally, he is the corporate sponsor for the PepsiCo Fellows Program, which targets PepsiCo's researchers who have, in their career inside the company and outside the company, proven to be world class researchers, and to have an impact, both strategic and commercial, with their work.
Tataranni doesn't believe that the pandemic changed how PepsiCo sees its responsibility towards its employees, but that the pandemic has brought into focus a number of topics that are going to require continued answering, even after the pandemic ends. For example, diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, are even worse then combined with a pandemic, so that raises the question of how the company can help its 260,000 associates around the world to stay as healthy as possible and to be aware of these vulnerabilities.
PepsiCo has an accelerator program called Greenhouse, which is a competition that eventually had 10 companies that are exploring, emerging, and disrupting ingredients, but also technologies and services. Each of the 10 finalists received $20,000 in funding and participated in a six month business program designed to accelerate their growth through personalized mentorship; in the end, the final winner, which was awarded an additional $100,000 in funding, was LifeNome, which has a pregnancy nutrition and health companion called 9Moon that will be offered to OBGYNs and other providers around the world.
Some of the technologies that the company deployed to support its associates throughout the pandemic include a partnership with SWORD Health for a virtual physical care service; the deployment of on demand fitness, which was done in partnership with Wellbeats; personalized mental health in collaboration with Spring Health; and the continued the deployment of a tobacco cessation program.
PepsiCo just recently issued its first vaccine mandate, which is, for now, aimed only at its executive level associates. Its offices are partially open and only to associates that are fully vaccinated. The company will continue to review and revise its policy as it sees fit and as more information becomes available, including actions taken by the federal government on if mandates are applicable to large employers like PepsiCo.
Tataranni is part of two initiatives that revolve around the emerging role of Chief Medical Officers in non-healthcare companies. The first is a group 15 of the largest US corporations that have a Chief Medical Officer or a Chief Health Officer; they have a quarterly meeting to exchange notes. Topics initially were around the impact of the pandemic on their organizations, but it has evolved into discussions on what the impact of this role on their individual corporations will be post pandemic. The second one is a community that includes six or seven of the Chief Health Officers or Chief Medical Officers of the largest corporations and they discuss the way the role is transitioning from physicians guiding their companies through the pandemic to imagining a post pandemic world where they take their learnings from the past 18 months and apply them back in the long term.
Tataranni believes there needs to be a shift from sick care to health care, and there needs to be much more emphasis on preventing diseases before they happen. The role of self care will increase significantly and one trend to watch is something that goes under the definition of “food as medicine,” which can span anything from prescribed meals to functional ingredients in food and beverage. All of this will be done to support a worldwide population that is aging faster than it is growing. If medical professionals can help these people live longer lives in good health, that will accomplish a lot in terms of not only allowing the largest number of people to live long, fulfilling lives, but also to unburden the healthcare systems of many countries around the world of a financial burden that otherwise wouldn’t be sustainable.
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