Twitter Wants You To Boycott Pepsi. Here's Why

While it may be hyperbolic to claim that the entire social media platform has turned against Pepsi, a vocal segment of Twitter has made it known that the company should be in our headlights. "Need ANOTHER reason to stop drinking Pepsi?" journalist E. Jean Carroll asked. "@PepsiCo sent a big fat check to the GOP legislators who got the TEXAS ABORTION BILL passed."

This seems to be picking up a post Judd Legum added to Popular Information, in which the newsletter author lists corporations that sent checks to Republican lawmakers in Texas after they passed a bill that bans abortion after 4 to 6 weeks. Despite PepsiCo's claims to empower women, shares the writer, it still donated $15,000 to the GOP on August 5, 2021.

Considering that PepsiCo is a corporation, it seems likely that the rationale behind the donation was economic. On it's contribution policy website page, one criteria reads "The candidate's or entity's commitment to improving the business climate." 

However, this decision to donate to a party that has pushed back against abortion rights in the United States takes on a more deliberate stance when you remember they suspended all political donations in January 2021. As Reuters reported, the suspension was due to the attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.

PepsiCo provided Tasting Table with a statement on the matter, sharing the company has made donations to "both the Democratic and Republican conventions in several states," including Texas in 2020. The statement further explained, "The check to the Republican party was not processed until August 2021. As a result, the donation was recorded then and disclosed in a recent filing. No further donations have been made to either Texas state political party since 2020. Any reports to the contrary are incorrect."

A widespread boycott seems unlikely to happen

As you would imagine, Twitter's response to the news was filled with people storming against Pepsi. "Bye bye Pepsi," one wrote. "I will switch to diet Coke asap. Looking at my bank statements, I spend over $2,000 a year on Pepsi. No more."

However, the scope of the boycott could shrink when people run into the reality of how much of the market PepsiCo actually owns. For example, MoneyWise lists 18 brands that are in the company's portfolio consumers might not be aware of: Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Sabra, Stacy's Pita Chips, Naked Juice, bottled Starbucks beverages, Gatorade, Rice-a-Roni, Doritos, Cap'n Crunch, Lipton, SoBe, Kickstart, Sierra Mist, and more — and this list is nowhere near exhaustive.

The issue, then, is that even though it may be easy for some to not buy any PepsiCo products, many will also have that one exception that they feel they need. "Sorry to say there's no way Chewy, Quaker, Smartfood, Doritos, Cheetos are going anywhere (Kid's favs)," one parent explained. The company is so large and so broad that the financial pains of a boycott can be spread thin to the point of being negligible.