Coca-Cola Enterprises pledges to cut calories by 10% by 2020

Coca-Cola Enterprises pledges to cut calories by 10% by 2020

Coca-Cola Enterprises is positioning itself as ‘part of the solution to obesity,’ as it pledges to reduce calories by 10% per litre across its beverage portfolio in the next five years.  

It will do this with a strategy that promotes no/low calorie options, widens availability of small pack sizes, and ensures clear nutritional labelling on all products.

The company has also been tackling calorie consumption through reformulation: with Dr Pepper, Fanta Fruit Twist, Monster and Nestea reformulated last year.

Choice is king

The commitments have been set out in a revised sustainability plan, released this week.

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) reports a 5.4% reduction in calories per litre across its portfolio since 2010. It now wants to reduce calories by 10% by 2020 (set against a 2010 baseline).

“We believe choice and information are important for consumers to be able to make the right decisions for them and their families,” says the company in its sustainability report.

“We also believe it is critical to get more people active in communities. By providing a wide variety of products, driving awareness of our no or low calorie options, and by supporting programmes which get people in our communities moving, we are working to be part of the solution to obesity.”

No and low calorie beverages: CCE says has been widening the choice of drinks, particularly with regard to no and low calorie options. Beverages are also available in a wide range of package sizes, it adds.

In 2014, 32% of beverages (by volume) were classed as no or low calorie. CCE’s biggest sellers – Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite – all have low-calorie alternatives.

CCE has also been addressing calorie levels via reformulation. “This has been reducing the sugar and calories in our beverages by up to 30%,” says the report. “In 2014, our reformulations included Fanta Fruit Twist and Dr Pepper in Great Britain, Monster in France, and Nestea in Norway.”

Nutritional information: Front-of-pack Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) labelling on all beverages will mean people can easily work out how many calories they are consuming, CCE says.

“Information about our products is also available through the websites, care lines and consumer information centres operated in all the countries where we do business,” it says.  

“We also provide extra information about ingredients on pack labels to help consumers make the right personal choices. For example, our energy drinks indicate they are not suitable for children and pregnant and breast-feeding women, specific groups for whom caffeine is not recommended.”

Responsible marketing: CCE has reiterated a 2009 commitment to refrain from marketing to children under 12 years old. This includes printed media, websites and broadcast programmes aimed at children.

“We recognise the growing use of digital and internet communications by children. Our internet sites, content and related technologies are designed for visitors aged 12 or above,” adds CCE.

“We have also signed the UNESDA (European trade association for soft drinks) initiative to ensure that energy drinks are not marketed to under 16s.”

Active lifestyles: The company says it is investing in grassroots programmes that support active lifestyles, with the aim of enabling 3m people to be physically active.

Other commitments

The company is one of the biggest Coca-Cola bottlers, concentrated in Western Europe, with a portfolio including energy drinks, still and sparkling waters, juices and RTD teas.

Other commitments in its sustainability report include increasing the percentage of recycled PET (and/or PET from renewable materials) to 40%.

It says it will reduce the carbon footprint of each drink by a third, source 40% of its energy from renewable or low carbon sources, and manufacture products with 50% less emissions by 2020.

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