Pepsi's Challenge

About the Show

What do Diet Pepsi, Tropicana orange juice, Fritos corn chips, and Cap’n Crunch cereal have in common? They’re among the more than one billion products purchased every day that are made by PepsiCo, one of the most sprawling and iconic companies in the world.

In “Pepsi’s Challenge,” a CNBC Original documentary, Correspondent Lester Holt gives viewers an exclusive look inside the new age test kitchens of the snack and beverage giant as it mounts an intensive effort to move its goods in a healthier direction. Holt presents a candid portrayal of Indra Nooyi, the outspoken CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo, and one of the most powerful women in the world.

The documentary also tells the compelling story of how Pepsi broke the color barrier in American business when it hired the first all-black sales team, which braved the Jim Crow South of the 1940s.

Web Extras

  • Pepsi is a globally recognized product of its namesake parent company, PepsiCo, but the conglomerate is made up of three subsidiaries: Frito-Lay, PepsiCo Beverage, and Quaker Foods.Most folks know Frito-Lay manufactures brand names such as Doritos and Stacy's Pita Chips, and that PepsiCo Beverage bottles and distributes a wide range of beverages, including the Tropicana and Gatorade brands. But there are other well-known brands that aren’t widely associated with the PepsiCo family, such as Crack
    By: Constance Parten

    There are many well-known food and beverage brands that aren’t widely associated with their parent company, PepsiCo. Here are a few.

  • Indra Nooyi: 'Pepsi Isn't Bad For You'

    PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi says her company's snack foods aren' bad for you, as long as they're enjoyed in moderation.

  • Indra Nooyi: Rule-Breaker

    PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi recalls how she, with her mother's guidance, defied convention and a conservative culture growing up in Madras, India.

  • Allen McKellar and Traveling in the Jim Crow South

    Allen McKellar, Pepsi's first African-American salesman, remembers the difficulties finding lodging during business trips to the Jim Crow South.

  • John Compton Explains Product Placement

    John Compton, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Foods, explains the strategy behind product placement.

  • Michele Simon: Is Pepsi To Blame?

    Food industry critic Michele Simon says that if Pepsi owns many of the foods that make people fat, it stands to reason that it shares some of the blame for soaring obesity rates.

  • PepsiCo's Zena Bell Explains Flavoring Drinks

    PepsiCo flavor scientist Zena Bell shows correspondent Lester Holt the subtleties of flavoring a beverage.

Contact Pepsi's Challenge


  • Anchor, ‘NBC Nightly News,’ weekend edition; co-anchor, TODAY, weekend edition.