It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone, but if you read our blog looking back at 2011, you’ll likely agree that it was a busy one for our industry.  We now look forward to this year, and the challenges and opportunities it may bring for our member companies, our industry, our customers and consumers.

We know that the notion of placing discriminatory taxes on our products is not going away – especially while governments at all levels continue to face budget shortfalls.  But we also know that the American public simply doesn’t support these taxes – and that we, as a collective industry, will continue to push back on these proposals as we did in 2011 in Philadelphia, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Texas, to name a few.

We can also predict that there will be more studies – or perhaps unpublished abstracts – reported on by the media that will attempt to impugn our products and ingredients.  There is no question – we will continue to point out any flaws that exist in those forthcoming studies, as well as inaccuracies in the reporting of them.  But most importantly, we’ll respond with the facts, which will be based in sound science.

The year ahead also will include industry’s ongoing innovation.  The beverage aisle is sure to look a bit different in a number of ways, as our industry continues to provide more low- and no-calorie and smaller-portion choices.  And of course, we can’t overlook the fact that our industry’s wide array of products will include new calorie labels with our Clear on Calories initiative.

Here at Sip & Savor, we’re eager for all that is to come, and we hope you are, too – no matter what lies ahead in 2012!