Pepsico Leads the Way

Pepsi did something bold and and deserves huge credit for it.

Pepsi, like most companies, has invested heavily in disease management and wellness.  After considerable investment over many years, Pepsi made a bold decision to figure out if they really were getting a legitimate ROI on their investment. So far so good.

First, what they did not do is hire one of the “usual suspect” consultants to torture their data till it confessed a high, but impossible, ROI.

Second, an outside authentic and ethical organization (The Rand Corporation) reviewed Pepsi’s data to validate the ROI’s of disease management and wellness. Go Pepsi!!

The results were that Pepsi did get a positive ROI in disease management, but not so on wellness.  According to a Rand release“… the lifestyle management component of the program — while delivering benefits — did not provide more savings than it cost to offer.”

Click here to see a report by Sharon Begley, the senior health & science correspondent at Reuters.

That took genuine courage on the part of Pepsi’s benefit leadership and hopefully will set a new standard for evaluating wellness that other companies should follow.

For that I nominate Pepsico for the Benefit Leadership of the Year Award (or at least I would if there were such an award).

Investing in wellness and prevention was a noble experiment, one that has been a disappointment. Benefit execs take note. You have a choice. Lead like Pepsico, or be timid and defensive.  


Tom Emerick

Cracking Health Costs, the book, is now available on Amazon at a deeply discounted price.  Click here:  Cracking Health Costs: How to Cut Your Company’s Health Costs and Provide Employees Better Care by Tom Emerick and Al Lewis.

Tom Emerick is the President of Emerick Consulting and co-founder of Edison Health. In December 2012, Tom was listed in as one of 13 unsung heroes changing healthcare forever. In 2009, Tom was named by Healthspottr as one of the top 100 innovators in healthcare in the US for his work on medical ethics. Prior to consulting, Tom spent a number of years working for large corporations: Walmart Stores, Burger King, and British Petroleum.







  1. Al Lewis says:

    The real losers here would be Mercer. They recommended Pepsi’s vendor, SHPS, because SHPS paid them to be on the preferred list. Hopefully Pepsi will call Mercer out on this.

  2. Al Lewis says:

    Another question: Why on earth would Pepso hire RAND to do a study for publication, spend tons of their own time working on this study, go through a lot of trouble to get it published…and then not comment on it?

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