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European soft drinks firms commit to cut more added sugar

DBR Staff Writer Published 09 February 2017

European soft drinks manufacturers, including Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Orangina, have unveiled plans to reduce added sugars by an extra 10% by 2020.

The Union of European Soft Drinks Association (UNESDA) said it has taken the call in line with varying preferences of consumers relating to sugar intake.

It is also said to be in response to the appeals for a coordinated move to reformulate soft drinks and sugar reduction from the member states of the European Union (EU) and the European Commission (EC).

UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe president Stanislas de Gramont said: “We welcome the EU’s policy approach to reformulation and sugar reduction which is based on partnership and allows us to deliver speed and scale.

“This 10% sugar reduction commitment represents a tripling of the pace of our efforts to date. We will need to employ a wide array of tools in order to achieve our ambitious target and we hope other food categories will follow suit in order to generate critical mass.”

To achieve its mission, the European soft drinks sector plans to reformulate, innovate and use smaller packaging formats while investing on promotions to encourage consumers to go in for reduced and zero calorie beverages.

The Coca-Cola Company Europe Business Units presidents Dan Sayre and Nikos Koumettis said: “We agree that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone and want to enable consumers to better control their intake of added sugar. We believe that this and the other actions we are taking will help more people make the right decisions for them and their families.”

UNESDA, on its 2020 mission, stated that it will have independent third party research to check the progress towards the 10% reduction in sugar which will be shared with the member companies.

It further stated that the new commitment has the potential of placing a pan European approach which can affect more than 500 million consumers by the joining of industry forces.

Image: Coca-Cola “One Brand” Packaging – 8oz glass bottle line up. Photo: courtesy of THE COCA-COLA COMPANY.