PepsiCo ramps up DTC strategy during pandemic

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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As national brands compete against private brands during the coronavirus pandemic and in general, direct-to-consumer could be a tool CPGs leverage, and PepsiCo has made that move in recent days.

The company launched two new websites for DTC shopping — and The e-commerce play was developed in less than 30 days, according to PepsiCo, and was developed to take advantage of the increased shopping consumers are doing online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, consultancy Bricks Meet Clicks has reported monster online sales numbers in March and April, including a 37% increase in online grocery. 

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"Over the last few years, PepsiCo has been working to be a faster, stronger, better company, one that is laser focused on meeting consumer needs and winning in the marketplace,” said Gibu Thomas, PepsiCo senior vice president and head of e-commerce. “Investing in e-commerce and digital capabilities and talent has been — and will continue to be — a big part of that effort. In these uncertain times, as more and more consumers are using e-commerce channels to purchase food and beverage products, and offer shoppers another alternative for easy and fast access to products they love." will be a place where consumers can order specialized bundles or pantry kits of PepsiCo products like a “Rise & Shine” or “Workout & Recovery” kit. The products include items that fit the theme from its brand Quaker, Gatorade, SunChips and Tropicana, and are priced at $29.95 and $49.95. was developed completely in-house leveraging end-to-end capabilities built from the ground up by PepsiCo's eCommerce team. will be more of an open shop from more than 100 popular items under its Frito-Lay products and there is free shipping with orders of $15 or more.

"We've seen incredibly strong demand for our snacks during this time, and offers consumers another way to purchase the products they love, delivered right to their door," said Michael Lindsey, chief transformation and strategy officer for Frito-Lay North America. " provides our incredibly loyal Frito-Lay shoppers with beloved products like Lay's Classic potato chips, Doritos Cool Ranch flavored tortilla chips and Flamin' Hot Cheetos so they can quickly and conveniently fill their pantries."

As grocers continue to see huge online gains, such as Costco and its near 88% gain online last month, certainly where its storied store brands are gaining, the Pepsi DTC move is an interesting one to watch.