News Releases & Statements
Majority of Americans Overwhelmingly Support Beverage Industrys New School Vending Policy
PARENTS PREFER INDUSTRY RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT MANDATES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An overwhelming majority of Americans support the beverage industry’s new school vending policy, according to a recent nationwide poll of 800 adults conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of the American Beverage Association (ABA). In fact, 81 percent of those surveyed favor the new industry policy.
Under ABA’s new policy, the beverage industry will provide:
- elementary schools with only water and 100 percent juice.
- middle schools with only nutritious and/or lower calorie beverages, such as water, 100 percent juice, sports drinks, no-calorie soft drinks, and low-calorie juice drinks. No full-calorie soft drinks or full-calorie juice drinks with five percent or less juice until after school; and
- high schools with a variety of beverage choices, such as bottled water, 100 percent juice, sports drinks, and juice drinks. No more than 50 percent of the vending selections will be soft drinks.
“The beverage industry is always listening to the views of the public about our products, and we have responded by adopting a new policy for the availability of beverages sold through vending machines placed in schools,” said Susan Neely, ABA president and chief executive officer. “We believe this policy is aligned with the views of most Americans, and this new national research supports that.”
The poll showed that parents with children in all grade levels support the policy, including 83 percent of parents with elementary school-aged children, 81 percent of parents with middle school-aged children, and 82 percent of parents with high school-aged children. Not only is support for the overall policy high, but so is support for each grade-specific portion of the beverage industry policy:
- 87 percent of the total respondents and 89 percent of parents support the elementary school guidelines;
- 82 percent of the total respondents and 79 percent of parents support the middle school guidelines; and
- 77 percent of the total respondents, as well as 77 percent of parents, support the high school guidelines.
“Parents told us they make a sharp distinction between younger children who need the guidance of an adult to help them make choices and high-school aged children, whom they believe have the ability to make informed choices, and should have a wider range of beverage choices available to them,” said Neely. “Parents believe that high school kids are more mature and should have the opportunity to make more choices for themselves.”
On behalf of the American Beverage Association, Public Opinion Strategies (POS) conducted a national survey of 800 adults (margin of error is + 3.46 percent). Of these 800 adults, 216 were parents with children in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. POS conducted an oversample of 284 parents for a total of 500 parents with children in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade (margin of error is + 4.38 percent). The surveys were conducted August 17-20, 2005.
The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.