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Niklas Gustafsson on the Change Lab Podcast

December 04, 2017

Change Lab Podcast: Niklas Gustafsson on Tackling the Pepsi Challenge

ArtCenter alum Niklas Gustafsson is the Global Director for PepsiCo’s Design and Innovation team. His wide-ranging duties at PepsiCo embody a uniquely modern corporate dilemma for brands striving to remain relevant to Millennials: How does the company develop and deliver new products and services that are sustainable, satiating and profitable? Niklas is specifically charged with leading a team responsible for developing products and initiatives that reflect PepsiCo’s core identity while expanding its offerings to include healthful beverages and snacks to meet the evolving needs of consumers around the world.

People are now asking for healthier offerings. How do we react to that?

Pepsi Visual System Image

Niklas role at the world’s second largest food and beverage company, with all its obvious responsibilities to shareholders, presents a strategic challenge: How does the company do good for the world while doing well for PepsiCo?

In the end, it’s a design problem. And a fascinating one at that.

Niklas and his team are working hard to design solutions to these challenges and paving a sustainable path into PepsiCo’s future with a bold suite of innovative products and programs outlined here. In his conversation with Lorne, Niklas unpacks PepsiCo’s twin imperatives to design for positive change while responding to the needs of global consumers. He also discusses the ways in which precise research and asking the right questions can play a vital role in bringing about transformation at a micro and macro level with remarkable grace, level-headedness and an admirable focus on making positive change in the world.

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