The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced on Tuesday that they would reduce the calories in their beverages by 20 per cent over the next decade. The commitment came at the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York. The three companies together occupy the largest chunk of the beverage market in the US.
“This is huge,” former President Bill Clinton said in a telephone interview to the New York Times. “I’ve heard it could mean a couple of pounds of weight lost each year in some cases.”
The leading beverage companies have set 2025 as the target year to cut beverage calories consumed per person in the US. They will rely on marketing, distribution and packaging to achieve this goal.
Strategies include introducing smaller portion sizes, no/lower-calorie beverages, providing calorie counts and promoting calorie awareness at all company-controlled points of sale in the US. The promotion will extend to more than 3 million vending machines, self-serve fountain dispensers, and retail coolers in convenience stores, restaurants and other locations, according to a release by the Clinton Foundation. The companies will also encourage consumption of their bottled water products.
With an alarming rise in obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among the population, there has been a surge in public opinion against high-calorie soft drinks.
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