America’s beverage companies have been dedicated for years to reducing calories from beverages across the country, and particularly in our schools. Over ten years ago, we launched our School Beverage Guidelines Initiative that voluntarily drove a more than 90 percent calorie reduction from beverages shipped to schools by our companies. They accomplished this by putting competition aside and working together to change the beverage landscape in schools throughout the nation.
Recently, ABA President and CEO Susan Neely said of the initiative, “There has been significant innovation in what is offered in the school environment, providing students and parents with more lower-calorie and smaller-portion choices than ever before — and this is what is happening in the broader marketplace as well.”
As Neely notes, our industry’s School Beverage Guidelines Initiative, is just one of the many ways our companies continue to drive consumers to reduce their beverage calories and maintain a balanced lifestyle. And we know that public, private partnerships play a key role in helping drive these changes.
That’s why in 2010 we launched our Clear on Calories Initiative in support of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program to bring consumers the clear calorie information they need to make the decisions that fit their lifestyle. And in 2014, we partnered with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation on the Balance Calories Initiative, working to reduce beverage calories in the American diet by 20 percent by 2025.
It is through partnerships like these that we will have a meaningful and lasting impact on issues such as obesity and diabetes.
As Neely puts it, “We are excited to see what the future has in store for our industry and our consumers.”