"The consumer can't tell the difference, and that's the greatest thing about all of the R&D work, which is now yielding results," she said.
The CEO also spoke about ongoing efforts to reduce sodium in products, including snacks sold by the Frito-Lay division.
"By applying the seasoning differently, we can actually still make it a salty snack, but with lower sodium levels, and that's what we have managed to do with… our products in countries like the U.K. and China, where we've reduced salt levels significantly," she said.
By 2025, PepsiCo said three-quarters of its global foods portfolio will contain sodium volumes not exceeding 1.3 milligrams per calorie. Also, at least three-quarters of the foods will not exceed 1.1 grams of saturated fat per 100 calories.
According to the CEO, the company also already made significant strides and is now frying snacks in many countries using "heart-healthy oil." Also, she said in China the company has available to it a new frying technique that can reduce saturated fat levels by about 20 percent while at the same time increasing capacity of the machines by 25 percent.
PepsiCo also is taking its healthy push to vending machines as part of a so-called Hello Goodness initiative it's previously disclosed. It includes everything from Frito-Lay's baked chips and Sabra hummus products to healthier beverages.
She said sales in the Hello Goodness machines are running higher than other vending machines "because all of a sudden, people look at this and go, 'Gee, I can eat everything I want out of this machine rather than, you know, having to go to convenience store or going to my pantry to bring stuff.' "
Nooyi said the shift in consumer preferences reflects a change in consumer habits.
"Consumers are changing their habits because they want to focus a lot more on remaining healthy because they're living longer," she said. "So they want to remain very healthy for the duration of their lives. And so as consumers change, we have to change our product portfolio."
Meanwhile, PepsiCo's sustainability goals also include reducing the company's carbon footprint and achieving increased water savings worldwide.
"We cannot keep operating in communities if we don't have prudent water goals or greenhouse gas emissions goals because societies won't allow us in," said Nooyi. "So I think in many ways, what we are doing with our goals right now is much more — you know a way to drive our performance on a sustained basis, so we are financially motivated with a very strong conscious."
The company is aiming for a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 2030. That applies to everything from production activities worldwide and packaging to transportation and its agricultural supply.
The company said it plans to work with business suppliers and customers, too, as part of the effort to reduce emissions.
In water goals, the company is targeting a "15 percent improvement in water efficiency of its direct agricultural supply chain in high water-risk areas by 2025." In short, that means savings equivalent to the total amount of water used in the company's manufacturing operations.
PepsiCo said its water savings efforts also call for replenishing 100 percent of the water it consumes in its manufacturing operations within "high-water-risk areas."
Finally, the company pledged it would "improve water efficiency of its direct manufacturing operations by 25 percent by 2025." PepsiCo said that was in addition to the 25 percent savings it already has achieved since 2006.
(UPDATE: The story was updated to add more comments from the Pepsi CEO regarding changing consumer tastes and habits.)