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August 23, 2018 Jeremy Boren

TechHub: Pepsi’s ‘Hive,’ Automation-proof Jobs, El Paso’s Water Solution

PepsiCo Launches ‘The Hive’ to Pump Up Emerging, Healthier Brands

PepsiCo announced it’s starting an incubator dubbed “The Hive” to grow its “smaller, emerging brands.”

The first three brands are: Maker Oats, overnight oats with flavors including apple and coconut, mulberry and chia and banana and coffee; and beverage labels Stubborn Soda, which makes bottled sodas such as orange hibiscus, lemon berry acai and agave vanilla cream soda; and Looza, which features 26 fruit juices that can be enjoyed on their own or in cocktails.

Stubborn Soda bottle line-up with garnishes (PRNewsFoto/PepsiCo)

Fortune reports that the initiative is a reaction to consumer demand for “healthier, less-processed goods” and a preference for small, craft brands.

For example, Stubborn Soda says its beverages contain cane sugar, Stevia and natural flavors. They do not use high-fructose corn syrup, dyes or artificial sweeteners.

“CEO Indra Nooyi, who recently announced she would be stepping down in October, called the Hive “a small entrepreneurial sort of agile group,” Fortune reported.

On Monday, PepsiCo announced it would pay $3.2 billion to purchase SodaStream, which produces machines that allow consumer to make flavored, carbonated beverages at home.

In a press release about The Hive, Seth Kaufman, president of PepsiCo North America Nutrition, acknowledged the changing preferences among consumers.

“We’re formalizing a venue to embrace the agile mindset of a startup by giving this team independence and leeway to rethink what exists today while still being able to call on the tremendous resources of PepsiCo,” he said.

Automation Will Challenge Workers to Tap Into ‘Imagination, Creativity’

Increasingly sophisticated automation and robotics will change the nature of the jobs humans perform. Many agree on that point.

But a Harvard Business Review article, takes that notion further by exploring the three types of jobs humans will occupy.

“…creators, people who can anticipate the rapidly evolving needs of individual customers and design and deliver creative and highly tailored products and services;”

“…composers — people who deeply understand the aspirations and needs of small niches of customers and who can compose engaging and rewarding experiences for those people;”

“…coaches who will help customers achieve more of their potential in various domains.”

Humans will eventually perform fewer repeatable tasks and focus on those that require “curiosity, imagination, creativity, and emotional and social intelligence.”

As the author notes, those are much “more challenging to replicate” for a machine.

El Paso Could Be First U.S. City to Reuse Wastewater for Drinking Water

Quartz reports that El Paso, Texas, could become the first major U.S. city to adopt “direct potable reuse,” a charitable term used to refer to reclaiming sewage water and making it clean enough to drink.

The drought-prone border city piloted the project in 2016. It’s seeking grants to build a potable-reuse plant. It could become a reality within the next decade, Quartz reported.

City of El Paso

In his testimony to a congressional subcommittee, El Paso Government Affairs Manager Hector Gonzales said a direct potable reuse plant could treat 10 million gallons a day and could cost $100 million to build.

He said such drought-proof solutions are a must for El Paso and many communities facing water-scarcity across the country.

“With the frequency of drought and growing challenges from declining freshwater resources, it is becoming increasingly important to invest in innovative projects and continue research that makes use of waste streams – to include wastewater, impaired groundwater and stormwater – to meet fresh water needs across the country,” he said.

Jeremy Boren

Jeremy is GrayMatter's Brand Manager and the author of TechHub and the emPOWERUP Podcast. He writes about digital solutions, trends and culture in the world of operational technology. Jeremy's background is in daily journalism. He has a passion for storytelling and enjoys highlighting the technologies and professionals taking on complex challenges in manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and infrastructure.