Companies and Brands

Is PepsiCo Really 50 Years Old? Maybe, or Maybe Not

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) has taken the 50th year of its founding to run a series of advertisements to celebrate the occasion. The trouble is that the claim is not entirely accurate, at least to the extent to which Pepsi-Cola was first a product in 1898 and then a company called Pepsi-Cola in 1902. PepsiCo has, for some reason, has used its merger with Frito-Lay, which was founded in 1961, maybe, based on PepsiCo’s convenient memory of history, to create a birthday.

The PepsiCo corporate website explains the confusion this way, in a section called “Beginnings”:

PepsiCo, Inc. was established through the merger of Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay. Pepsi-Cola was created in the late 1890s by Caleb Bradham, a New Bern, N.C. pharmacist. Frito-Lay, Inc. was formed by the 1961 merger of the Frito Company, founded by Elmer Doolin in 1932, and the H. W. Lay Company, founded by Herman W. Lay, also in 1932. Herman Lay, former chairman and CEO of Frito-Lay, was chairman of the board of directors of the new company; Donald M. Kendall, former president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola, was president and chief executive officer. The new company reports sales of $510 million and has 19,000 employees. Major products of the new companies are:

Pepsi-Cola Company: Pepsi-Cola (formulated in 1898), Diet Pepsi (1964) and Mountain Dew (introduced by Tip Corporation in 1948).

Frito-Lay, Inc.: Fritos brand corn chips (created by Elmer Doolin in 1932), Lay’s brand potato chips (created by Herman W. Lay in 1938), Cheetos brand cheese flavored snacks (1948), Ruffles brand potato chips (1958) and Rold Gold brand pretzels (acquired 1961).

Thus, in that jumble somewhere, PepsiCo was formed.

ALSO READ: How Innovation Drives PepsiCo

Over the past 50 years, PepsiCo has added and sold enough companies and divisions that, except for soft drinks and a few snacks, it is hard to recognize compared to what it was in the 1960s. For example, it dumped its restaurants into a company called Tricon Global Restaurants, which eventually renamed itself Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM). PepsiCo might have been better off to keep its restaurant business, which currently has annual revenue of $13 billion.

Is PepsiCo actually 50 years old? On paper somewhere, maybe.

Take This Retirement Quiz To Get Matched With An Advisor Now (Sponsored)

Are you ready for retirement? Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, that’s why it could be a good idea to speak to a fiduciary financial advisor about your goals today.

Start by taking this retirement quiz right here from SmartAsset that will match you with up to 3 financial advisors that serve your area and beyond in 5 minutes. Smart Asset is now matching over 50,000 people a month.

Click here now to get started.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.