Tim Warner, vice-president for insights and analytics, defined these as trends that are "almost real-time; things which are bubbling up, day to day, week to week".
He added: "If we can better understand them, they would allow us to develop new products, ideas, communication campaigns."
The food-and-drink giant this week launched the PepsiCo Go Trendsetter Challenge, an online competition
acting as a recruitment process for its insights graduate programme and one-year digital internships. The scheme invites applicants to pitch an idea for the next big food-and-drink trend.
Warner said the business was putting a "massive focus" on understanding external trends – ranging from economic macro-trends to specific fashions and behaviours among smaller groups.
The recruitment process, he said, was about "challenging us to make sure our capabilities in spotting trends – in being very responsive to changing dynamics – are world-class".