Profile: Evan Shaver, VP of Revenue Growth Management, PepsiCo Foods North America

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06/23/2021
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Evan Shaver has spent the majority of his career at PepsiCo in various functions. After college, he had roles in finance and marketing before leaving the company to pursue an MBA. He spent almost three years at McKinsey & Co., focusing on CPG and retail clients before returning to PepsiCo. The early years of his return to the company were spent in various strategy positions before he moved into a shopper analytics and insights role. He took on his revenue growth management assignment in January of this year.

Please describe your current role.
SHAVER: PepsiCo is investing across many capabilities to take a more strategic view of revenue management. In addition to planning and executing our traditional lifecycle pricing actions and promotional guidance, we’re exploring strategies from other industries and taking a more consumer-centric and shopper-centric approach to our actions. We’re charged with identifying the tools and technologies we need to advance our capabilities.

Finally, we’re tasked with making our organization smarter on revenue management. We’ll build content and educate various internal stakeholders to ensure they have the right mindset and knowledge to make the right revenue management-related decisions in their areas.

How do shopper analytics and insights fit into your organization?
SHAVER: I’m admittedly biased because of my prior role leading that team, but I think we have advantaged capabilities in this space. Our retailers clearly agree, as PepsiCo was [recently] ranked the number-one manufacturer in the Kantar Retail PoweRankings for the fifth year in a row in the U.S. We earned similarly strong customer feedback in many countries around the world. We’re actively exploring how those insights can better inform our revenue management strategy and push those insights beyond assortment or marketing.

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What are some of the techniques and technology that your team leverages at PepsiCo Foods North America?
SHAVER: PepsiCo has a wealth of resources that already inform so many other decisions in the business, and we’re now using those same resources to inform our revenue management decisions. For example, to understand our ability to deliver the right value to consumers by brand, we can tap into our proprietary shopper research, brand equity scores and POS/panel data.

We’re also investing heavily in tools to plan, execute and analyze the performance of our promotional events. We’re seeking to understand the elasticity of our brands in a more geographically localized way instead of one national average. As you’d expect, artificial intelligence is a major enabler of that work. Finally, we’re experimenting with different offer variants to understand which ones resonate most with shoppers.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing retailers these days? How does your team provide aid with solutions?
SHAVER: The shift from away-from-home to at-home consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly been a short-term boon for retailers. These channels are starting to open up, so the next 12 months for retailers should be about retaining the loyalty they’ve built during the pandemic. It’s about encouraging as much of that consumption to be fulfilled by them instead of other retailers or away-from-home. Our revenue growth management team helps retailers ensure that they are offering the right pack sizes and prices to their unique shopper base so that they can profitably deliver on whatever their brand promises are.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
SHAVER: I love any area that’s at the intersection of the retailer, the shopper, and our company. We’re in an industry where we’re not going to get it right every transaction, but we don’t have many chances to get it wrong before we lose that loyalty. There are so many tradeoffs and hurdles to overcome before an item ever gets on a shelf, so it’s always rewarding when you find a winning proposition.

RECENT ACHIEVEMENT
SHAVER: The past year has forced us to rethink our entire price-pack architecture and our promotional strategies. We’re really proud of the way that we migrated price in the marketplace amid the pandemic. When we reduced our promotional depth and frequency across the portfolio, we did it in a data-driven way to minimize the impact to our consumers and our retailers. We were able to gain share in many categories across many channels while delivering strong financial results.

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