In case you missed it, this month’s issue of Beverage Industry Magazine features an article about the non-alcoholic beverage industry’s collective innovation and proactive initiatives that are having a real impact on the obesity challenge.  Susan Neely, ABA president and CEO, was quoted saying:

“The innovation is responding to consumer demands, but it’s also an important part of our leadership.   We are doing so by offering more beverage choices to help consumers pick the right beverage for themselves.”

We are delivering choices for our consumers and their families. We removed full-calorie soft drinks from schools and replaced them with lower-calorie, small-portion beverages. Under the School Beverage Guidelines, there are now 90 percent fewer calories shipped to schools.  Neely continues in the article to say about this national effort in schools:

“We spend a lot of time dissecting why did that work so well and what was good in that and how can we replicate that in other initiatives we might take on as an industry.  You don’t just learn from your failures, you learn from your successes ... I think everybody you talk to in the industry believes that was such a huge and important success for us and kind of a new paradigm in how the industry can collaborate with an NGO and get something done.”

In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, our industry launched its Clear on Calories initiative. Today, consumers can find clear calorie labels on the front of every can, bottle and package we make.  This makes it easier to choose the beverage that's right for them. It is yet another way that the beverage industry is helping consumers make informed choices as part of a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle.

The beverage industry is also a leader in environmental stewardship. While we work hard to produce beverages that consumers enjoy, we also care about the environment and what happens to those beverage containers in the long run. In the piece, Neely states:

“Our industry is committed to supporting recycling efforts, and the Recycle on the Go program is simply another way for us to encourage residents in Palm Beach County, and throughout the nation, to reduce, reuse and recycle.  We are honored to be a part of this collaboration with local government, and we look forward to expanding public recycling opportunities like this nationwide.”

When it comes to the importance of leadership, Neely concludes:

“We think it’s vitally important to be part of the solution, and we’re actively talking about what the next things are or what the next commitment might be, and we’re looking at all the elements of success that we talked about from the other programs and how do we apply that to something else.”

Read the full article here. And see what else we’re up to by checking in with us on Twitter.