US soda firms to invest in calorie counting vending machines10 October 2012
The American Beverage Association has revealed that Coca-Cola Co, Pepsi Co and Dr Pepper Snapple Group will display the calorie count of drinks sold in vending machines from next year.
The decision comes after the City of New York recently approved the controversial ‘soda ban’ which prohibits the sale of large size sugary soft drinks in cafes, restaurants, bars and other public spaces. The firms have come under pressure from US politicians and public officials after a series of studies linked America’s rising obesity epidemic to consumption of drinks with a high sugar content.
The new measure will see Coca-Cola Co, Pepsi Co and Dr Pepper Snapple Group invest in vending machines that display the calories contained in the drinks sold. The machines, which will encourage customers to “check and choose” and to “try a low calories beverage”, will be installed in Chicago and San Antonio in 2013 before being rolled-out nationwide.
“Working with key stakeholders is an important part of addressing the public health challenge of obesity,” said Susan K Neely, the American Beverage Association’s president and chief executive.
“Everyone who works in or visits a municipal building in Chicago and San Antonio will know exactly how many calories are in their favourite beverages before making a vending machine purchase – and they will be reminded that ‘calories count’ as part of achieving a balanced lifestyle.”
Meanwhile, the American Beverage Association has backed a $2.2 million campaign to fight the proposed introduction of a soda tax in the San Francisco Bay area of California. The tax would raise $3.5 million-$7 million a year.
Spearheaded by the American Beverage Association, the “No on N” campaign opposes the introduction of a penny-per-ounce levy on sugary drinks to fight obesity. Opponents argue that the legislation would cost the industry millions of dollars in lost sales and result in higher prices for consumers.
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