I’m on a panel for the NYAS’s conference on Conflicts of Interest in Healthcare: Opportunities for Self-Reflection and Action, June 24-25. Location: 7 World Trade Center. 250 Greenwich St, 40th Floor. Information and registration are here. My panel is on the 25th at 10:45 a.m. , Session VI: Hot topic discussion: getting to the truth in nutrition science. Other panelists are Mona Calvo fro Penn State, Mehmood Khan from Life Biosciences, and Linda Van Horn from Northwestern. Moderator is Julia Belluz from Vox.
The soda industry is having trouble meeting calorie targets
In 2014, the soda industry (American Beverage Industry, Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation) pledged to reduce calories in its beverages as a means to help with weight control. The pledge was to reduce calories in sugary drinks by 20% by 2025.
At the moment, achievement of this goal seems unlikely according to a report by the American Beverage Association and the Alliance.
The overall summary: a 3 (!) calorie per person per day reduction since 2014.
Plotting the data this way makes the change seem significant, but this industry has a long way to go.
Why isn’t it doing better? The simple answer: sugary drinks sell and are highly profitable.
The report explains the trends:
- A decline in consumption of carbonated soft drinks, but an increase in consumption of sugary sports drinks, energy drinks, and ready-to-drink teas and coffees.
- A decline in retail sales of carbonated soft drinks, but an increase in calories from fountain drinks and food service.
- An increase in sales of smaller-size containers, but also an increase in sales of larger containers.
The report does not give advertising figures.
I’d like to know which products are getting the most marketing dollars. Want to take a guess?