Bengaluru — PepsiCo reported first-quarter sales and profit above analysts’ estimates on Wednesday, boosted by higher demand for its snacks, sparkling water and low-sugar sodas, sending its shares up about 2% before the bell. Beverage and packaged food companies have been under pressure from changing consumer preferences and Pepsi has responded by coming up with new recipes and using better ingredients for its snacks and sodas. PepsiCo has also bolstered its product portfolio to attract customers by acquiring companies such as Bare chips and launching Pepsi Zero Sugar, Bubly sparkling water, and Pure Leaf iced teas. These moves helped the company post a 2.15% growth in sales in its North America beverages unit, while sales in its Frito-Lay snacks division rose 5.5%. Organic sales, a key metric that shows the health of Pepsi’s legacy brands and strips out impacts from currency fluctuations and acquisitions, rose 5.2%, its highest quarterly growth rate in more than three years, the co...

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