Now, he is directing his attention to the company's stock price. He was in Center City this week for one of 20 planned meetings nationwide to help boost the image of the company as an investment option.
"He has to do it because Pepsi is emerging [from] its restructuring process," said Roy Burry, an analyst with Brown Brothers Harriman in New York.
PepsiCo's stock has been trading in the mid- to high-$30 range - almost the same price as in 1998. In two years, the share price has gone no higher than $44.69 and no lower than $27.88.
A $100 investment in PepsiCo three years ago would be worth a little more than $123 now, a gain of about 23 percent, not including the value of spin-off shares. During the same period, the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose almost 98 percent.
"It's stunning, actually," said Daniel Perus, securities analyst with Argus Research in New York. "The company has been anchored to the $35 line for an incredibly long period when there was both market volatility and the company transforming itself."
Perus added, "The company has been a work in progress for several years. The company has now said the construction is complete, but the market is not listening."
PepsiCo's problem largely has been the perception by investors and analysts that parts of the company were being moved without an overall strategy.
In the last three years, the company has:
Spun off its bottling business into a separate publicly traded company, the Pepsi Bottling Group.
Sold its fast-food restaurant chains, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Pizza Hut.
Bought Tropicana orange juice from Seagram Co. Ltd.
Refined its international expansion efforts to focus less on where rival Coca-Cola Co. was and more on where growth opportunities were.
Those changes, coupled with the lure of technology stocks at the expense of old-line companies such as PepsiCo during the late '90s, stifled the company's performance on Wall Street. The result of the restructuring was that investors initially were not sure how to regard PepsiCo. Was it a soft-drink company or a company with a different focus?
But Enrico has a plan to propel the Purchase, N.Y., company into grace with investors. "Basically, we just set some goals for ourselves. We'll concentrate on performance, then on marketing."
Simply put, Enrico wants to sell more bags of Doritos, cans of Pepsi and containers of juice - which would increase revenue and, in turn, earnings per share.
For 1999, sales of Tropicana juices rose 10 percent, snacks were up 6 percent, and soft drinks gained 4 percent. But in operating profit, the company reported growth of 55 percent, 11 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Though Tropicana led the company in profitability, snacks brought in almost two-thirds of PepsiCo's revenues - a huge shift from 35 years ago when Pepsi-Cola was the company's dominant product.
The snack business, under the Frito-Lay name, includes Doritos and Lay's chips, Cheetos, and Cracker Jack caramel popcorn. It has a 48 percent share of the $27 billion a year worldwide snack-food market, up from 28 percent in 1990. In the United States, Frito-Lay has a dominant 60 percent share, up from 38 percent in 1990.
The snack division has grown in importance in part because the spin-off of the bottling business decreased revenues from the soft-drink segment, and the sale of the restaurants in 1997 eliminated about a third of the company's revenue. With the larger chunks of the pie gone, snacks consume a greater share of total sales.
Within the snack segment, new products have boosted sales by about 75 percent, Enrico said. In 1999 alone, Frito-Lay introduced 13 snacks, including Zig-Zags cheese snacks and Baked Ruffles potato chips. "With more new-product news and more variety, more people will consume the product," Enrico said.
He said that having expanded the product into 40 countries also has helped boost sales. "About half of the total kilos that Frito-Lay sells are sold outside the United States," he said. "We have a system to make the company more global than it is today."
Enrico said that though the company's soft drinks have been pulled out of some intensely competitive international markets, they still have a presence outside the United States.
"We're not in a war with Coke. We just make our business a little better every year," Enrico said. "The business bets on the emerging markets of China, Vietnam and India, where political changes have given us opportunities to participate."
The company has expanded its beverage segment - and taken advantage of growth in non-carbonated drinks - by creating joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks, producing its Aquafina brand of water, and launching Fruitworks, a juice product. To boost sales of colas, the company relaunched its Pepsi Challenge marketing campaign, which gives blind-folded consumers a chance to compare Pepsi to Coke.
"We realized the last time we ran the campaign was in 1982 and realized that the target audience, which tends to be teens, had never heard about it," Enrico said. "The best way to bring interest and attention back to the cola category is the Pepsi Challenge. The reason colas are not as vibrant as they were a decade ago is because teen consumption is down." The company also has created an alliance with Internet company Yahoo Inc. to lure teens to its product by offering points redeemable for merchandise on the Internet.
"This is a company that has its sea legs . . . and we're sailing pretty well," Enrico said.