NEW YORK – This week, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple pledged to cut beverage calories consumed per person in the United States by 20% by 2025, through a mix of marketing, distribution and packaging.
The voluntary plan, backed by the American Beverage Association (ABA) and announced at the Clinton Global Initiative, is generally seen as tacit recognition by the companies of their role in the American obesity crisis.
As part of the plan, the three major soda manufacturers plan to broaden the availability of low- and zero-calorie beverages, as well as drinks sold in smaller sizes. The agreement will also apply to 3 million company-owned vending machines and coolers in convenience stores, as well as fountain soda dispensers at fast-food restaurants. Each beverage company will also provide calorie counts and promote calorie awareness.
At the local level, the companies committed to putting more effort into communities where there has been less interest in, or access to, ways in which consumers can reduce their drink calorie consumption. To do that, they will more heavily promote their bottled water products, which have become a larger portion of total sales as soft drink sales have declined in recent years.