American Beverage Association

Sip & Savor - Recent Posts

Taxes Are Harmful and Regressive

Some policymakers and public health activists erroneously believe they can force people to better health through discriminatory taxes even though they are highly unpopular and ineffective. A recent report from the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) explains why a sugar tax is bad public policy.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TPA, said: “It is deeply concerning that the Government has given into the pressures from the public health lobby and is pushing ahead with this regressive tax which will hit the poorest families hardest.”

That’s right. Taxes on common grocery items are highly regressive – the poor and middle class pay a much higher share of their income on the tax than do high-income households. So why do governments want to push this harmful tax onto families who can least afford the burden?

“This is yet another example of irresponsible meddling from the High Priests of the Nanny State, introducing entirely unnecessary complications into an already complicated tax system and pushing up the cost of everyday products for hard-pressed families,” says Isaby.

Instead of wasting their time on harmful policies, we encourage governments to focus on meaningful solutions to combat the complex issue of obesity.


Remembering the Importance of Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is a favorite for many Americans – it means the start of summer, the pool opening and cookouts in the backyard. However, it also has a more significant meaning.

It is an opportunity to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. But remembrance doesn’t mean just sadness, it also means thankfulness – as General Patton once said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

So take some time today with your friends and families and remember the men and women who paved the way to our freedom.

 


Kicking Off Summer Across America

This weekend, Americans across the country will be celebrating the unofficial start of summer with a long weekend full of sunshine, fun and plenty of barbecues.

For the many of us who have had to endure a long winter and the endless rain of spring, this weekend signifies that those days will soon be behind us. And what better way to celebrate than to gather in the park, at the beach or in your backyard for a weekend filled enjoying your favorite foods and beverages with your family and friends? After all, that’s what summer is all about!

However you spend your weekend, either close to home, or at a far off destination, have a safe and relaxing three days!


Beverage Taxes: “A Global Fashion Built on Dubious Science”

Mike Gibney, a professor of food and health at University College Dublin, breaks down the fallacy of beverage taxes as a solution to obesity in a piece for the Irish Times. He says there is simply no evidence that taxes are effective, and in fact, evidence points to their ineffectiveness.

Gibney points out that the average Irish adult consumes a minor 35 calories a day from sugar-sweetened beverages. “If the increased tax on the fizzy drink consumer reduces caloric intake by 35 per day, will they lose weight?” asks Gibney “No they won’t. That’s just not how the body works.”

So why then do governments want to impose ineffective taxes on the public? “We are taxing such carbonated soft drinks because it is a global fashion built on dubious science and popular prejudice,” says Gibney.

Besides having no impact on obesity, Gibney says taxes result in real harm because they allow policymakers “off the hook of really tackling obesity through long-term investment in an agency with some independence that can make inroads into our weight crisis.”

Singling out one item in the grocery cart will not make anyone healthier. Rather, government and industry must work together on comprehensive solutions rooted in education and collaboration.

As Gibney observes, “Single-issue solutions are cheap, easy and populist options, and in the long term will be of no help to us.”


Beverage Taxes Will Hurt Local Businesses

In the last few years some lawmakers have latched onto the idea of beverage taxes as a way to fill budget shortfalls. Illinoisans and local business are among the latest to face the threat.

As we’ve said before, beverage taxes are a bad idea and the public knows it. First off, the tax is highly regressive. The poor and middle class pay a much higher share of their income on the tax than do high-income households. The tax takes a deep bite out of the money families can spend on groceries.

The tax also hurts Illinois’s small businesses that depend on beverage sales for a good part of their livelihoods. That threatens corner stores and local grocery stores and the hard-working people whose jobs depend on beverage sales.

“I guarantee that if you pass this tax we will lose employees and we’ll also lose facilities,” Bill Fleischli of the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores told Fox.

“We [convenient stores] employ 90,000 people in the state of Illinois and some of those are going to be reduced if this passes,” said Fleischli.

Instead of pursuing a tax that raises prices on families and hurts jobs, policymakers should think about who is really paying the price.

To find out more about how taxes harm local businesses and consumers, check out The Truth About Beverage Taxes.


Warm Weather Daydreaming

Today’s sunny weather has us daydreaming about long weekends and hot summer days. We’re so inspired, that we’ve decided to share a few of our favorite icy treats!

If you are a dreamsicle lover, check out this fun recipe for orange dreamsicle jello squares – a perfect treat after a long day at the pool.

If you’re ga-ga over grapes, we’ve got a recipe for grape soda ice cream. We could see ourselves enjoying this while watching our Friday-night movie.

You can also pour your favorite fruit juice into a mold, place into the freezer for several hours and – voila – delicious popsicles! A tasty snack while you’re out in your garden.

Do you have a favorite icy treat to beat the summer heat?

 


The Beverage Tax Idea: Not Creative. Not a Solution.

In Illinois, state legislators are proposing a beverage tax that would end up hurting those who can least afford it in an attempt to fill their budget hole. A recent op-ed by the Rockford Register Star notes that the proposed tax is a misguided way to address the state’s budget problems.

Unlike an income tax, which is determined directly by people’s salary and assets, taxes on beverages, “disproportionately hurt poor people and those on fixed incomes.”

Legislators, who are hoping for this quick solution to their budget issues, need to consider the consequences this type of tax will have on all Illinoisans.

“Illinois needs creative solutions to fix its fiscal woes. A soda tax is neither creative nor is it a solution.”


Bike to Work Day

Today is Bike to Work Day. People across the nation are ditching their car keys for their helmets and pedaling to work instead of driving.

Biking is not only a fun way to explore and great exercise, it’s good for the planet too. Protecting the environment is also a priority for America’s beverage companies. In fact, it’s at the core of our business.

We too are working to take more vehicles off the road and replacing them with intermodal transportation like freight rail, reducing truck miles, fuel use and overall emissions. We’re also rapidly expanding the use of hybrid vehicles and we’ve pledged to transition to biodiesels, electricity, natural gas and other alternative fuels. Additionally, we’re producing lighter and more streamlined packaging, which cuts down on the fuel needed to transport our products.

To learn more about how America’s beverage companies are reducing our environmental footprint, visit www.innovationnaturally.org.


#TBT School Beverage Guidelines

We’ve been doing a little spring cleaning around here at Sip & Savor and came across this classic picture of ABA’s CEO and President, Susan Neely, at a press conference in 2010 to announce that we had successfully implemented the National School Beverage Guidelines. Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the American Beverage Association teamed up with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to develop the Guidelines? In 2006, we started the initiative to remove full-calorie sodas from all schools and replace them with more lower-calorie and smaller-portion choices.

As a result of this ambitious effort we slashed beverage calories in schools by more than 90 percent and successfully changed the beverage landscape in schools across the country. This voluntary step by the beverage industry later helped form the basis of the beverage component of USDA’s regulations for foods and beverages sold in schools. Today, when you walk into a school, you will still see our commitment at work.

Since the School Beverage Guidelines, we’ve continued to pursue efforts to help Americans achieve balance. In fact, we’re working on our biggest initiative to-date — Balance Calories. Launched in 2014, with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation as our partner once again, we have set a goal to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025, the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to address obesity.

To find out more about the Balance Calories Initiative, and other efforts to help provide people with choices and information, check out DeliveringChoices.org.


#dyk You Can Code With Your Soda?

Science, technology, engineering, math – also known as STEM – seem to be a hot topic these days as our nation seeks to continue to stay competitive in the global workforce. Writing in code is something that correlates to some of the professions tied to STEM, but did you know it also can be a great way to keep yourself busy, or even create a secret language to communicate with your family and friends?

So what exactly is writing in code? Well, there are many ways to do it, but one of them requires your favorite carbonated beverages. According to a team of scientists from Weizmann Institute of Science, to write in code just takes is some nifty chemistry to create an encryption key to code and decode hidden messages. Their method, published in the journal Nature Communications, may seem complex, but it’s actually simple to use – if you have the inexpensive device that is needed. It all boils down to molecules. In the case of “soda coding,” that means measuring the wavelengths of the fluorescent molecules that beverages give off to get the code you need to decrypt a message.

For example, if your message was “open sesame,” you can encode “open” as follows:
O = 4350
P = 4650
E = 1350
N = 4050

And then you assign a wavelength of light (measured in nanometers) to each letter as follows:
O = 500nm
P = 520nm
E = 540nm
N = 560nm

May seem a little difficult, but it could be an entertaining project for the family on a rainy day! When done encoding your message, just give the numbers and the fluorescent molecule to the person you want to decode your message. You can conceal the letter by drying the molecule onto a letter. Then all the recipient needs to do is place the letter in the same brand of cola and measure the light released to decode the message. Yes, it’s a real science experiment. It may not be for the faint of heart, but it is definitely for those with a sense of curiosity about their carbonated beverage.