[UPDATED 25/02/2009] PepsiCo has altered some of its plans to re-invest the US$1.2bn in cost-savings from its restructuring programme in a bid to provide greater value for consumers during the economic downturn.

The US snacks and beverage group is part-way through an overhaul of its business dubbed "Productivity for Growth", an initiative it unveiled in October to streamline the business and speed up decision making.

PepsiCo is eyeing pre-tax savings of US$1.2bn over the next three years and CFO Richard Goodman said the company's plan to reinvest the proceeds in business development has been scaled back due to the global economic turmoil.

"When we went into it and began to conceive of it back in the middle of 2008, it was almost entirely to re-invest in the business and then you look at the economic circumstances and think: 'What are some of the ways to re-invest in the business?' One of them is to maintain the value equation despite the fact that there has been commodity increases. It really is a balance," Goodman told the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference in Florida yesterday (19 February).

Goodman insisted that PepsiCo is still looking to invest behind its brands and businesses and pointed to spending on advertising and marketing, as well as moves to expand in emerging market.

Last week, PepsiCo received clearance to build four beverage plants in China. Building work is expected to begin later this year.

However, Goodman hinted that some capital spending plans had been put on ice in order to divert resources towards offering cash-strapped consumers greater value.

"There are other pieces of the puzzle that we're really just holding in reserve to be able to maintain the value equation with our consumers as well," Goodman said. "It really is a balance depending upon the country and we're trying to use the money wisely to both sustain long-term value and also to maintain the consumer momentum."

A PepsiCo spokesperson told just-drinks that the group's cost-savings plan will provide greater support for brands and innovation, and "will enhance our operating agility and create some breathing room to respond to the changing economic environment".

Earlier yesterday, Rockstar Energy Drink signed a distribution deal with PepsiCo's bottlers in North America.

As part of the deal, Rockstar will be distributed by The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG), PepsiAmericas, Pepsi Bottling Ventures and other independent Pepsi-Cola bottlers in most of the US and all of Canada.

Goodman said the deal would help PepsiCo build on its stable of energy drinks. "By bringing this fast-growing brand into the PepsiCo distribution system, we continue to build on the strength of our energy drinks portfolio, which includes Amp, No Fear and Starbucks," he said.