Talking innovation: PepsiCo and the world’s most famous chef

PepsiCo announced a formal partnership last year with the Spanish gastronomic genius, whose restaurant El Bulli in Spain (now closed) was named best in the world five times by Restaurant Magazine, to help it not only develop flavours and techniques but healthier options in its snacks portfolio of brands.

Their work together follows an existing successful relationship between the two parties which began in 2005 and involved Chef Adria’s consultation on PepsiCo Spain’s Alvalle brand of chilled vegetable soups and Lay’s Artesanas 100% olive oil among others.

PepsiCo said last year: “Ferran Adria will share creative principles, methods, procedures and techniques in order to assist PepsiCo in the creation of new snackable foods, breakfast options and convenience alternatives. He will help to inspire PepsiCo’s product development team by sharing samples, food trends and observations from around the world.

“One specific area of focus for the partnership will be exploring the culinary arts to enable PepsiCo to broaden its portfolio of healthier choices. This includes developing taste enhancement ingredients and natural preserving techniques in order to reduce the use of fat and oil in current products, therefore making them healthier.”

Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, explained, “PepsiCo has had a long standing reputation for food innovation and this partnership, with arguably the best chef in the world, will enable us to move further forward with new creative concepts and ideas. We will also share our own creative principles and ideas, developed over our 46 year history, in order to help assist Ferran Adria with his mission to create a world leading gastronomic think tank and research facility in the future.”

Ferran Adria said, “It is an honour for us, as well as a challenge, to be able to work so closely with a food company as important as PepsiCo and, most especially, with its extraordinary R&D teams around the world. This is certainly an enriching experience for both parties, from which we hope to obtain interesting results from our joint task, where El Bulli will provide its historic know-how regarding high level gastronomy as well as other areas of the food business.”

In this video, PepsiCo executives Ian Noble, Senior Director for Breakthrough Foods, and Nick Aiello, Innovation Chef, PepsiCo Europe, discuss the company’s innovative approach to R&D and how the partnership with the “world’s greatest chef” is helping the company develop new methods and concepts for creative food innovation.