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PepsiCo Working to Raise Prices in U.S., Nooyi Says

PepsiCo Inc., the world’s largest snack-food maker, aims to raise prices of its soft drinks in the U.S. as the economy improves, Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi said.

“The economy is better now than it was last year,” Nooyi said in an interview on the sidelines of a consumer goods forum in Barcelona today. “Ultimately the test is going to be when unemployment rates come down. Everybody is focused on it.”

PepsiCo is working to increase prices “right now as we speak,” the executive said. The company in April vowed to increase beverage prices from July 4 to offset higher commodity costs, with rival Coca-Cola Co. also saying prices would increase 3 percent to 4 percent in the second half.

Nooyi told the conference that she “hates the fact that fingers are pointed at us” on increasing global obesity. A multi-facted approach with government and retailers including education and greater innovation in products and packaging is needed to lessen the burden, she said.

Increasing taxation on unhealthy products isn’t enough, the CEO also said. “It’s discriminating, it’s not going to get the desired effect,” Nooyi said.

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