Canadian Beverage Association launches initiative to reduce non-alcoholic beverage calories consumed by Canadians

Industry aims to reduce beverage calories in the Canadian diet by 20% over the next 10 years

TORONTO, Oct. 27, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's beverage manufacturers and Canadian Beverage Association (CBA), which represents Canada's non-alcoholic beverage industry, today launched the Balance Calories initiative. The program is aimed at reducing the number of calories Canadians consume from non-alcoholic beverages by 20% over the next decade through product innovation and marketing.  This is a substantial and unique voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity and will transform the beverage landscape in Canada. This commitment includes all non-alcoholic refreshment beverages excluding milk and other dairy products, hot coffees and teas.

The Canadian beverage industry has a successful track record of leading voluntary initiatives. They include restricting marketing to children, eliminating full-calorie soft drinks from schools, and implementing front-of-pack calorie labeling, an initiative known as Clear on Calories. Through product and packaging innovations, the industry in Canada has already facilitated a 20% reduction per capita in beverage calories since 2004. Recognizing this important trend, and projecting that achievements over the past decade will not organically sustain in the coming years, the Balance Calories goal of a further 20% reduction is the industry's next proactive campaign to continue promoting healthier lifestyles and balance.

"We are committed to providing consumers with more low- and no-calorie choices, smaller portions and fewer calories. Balance Calories highlights the commitment of Canada's non-alcoholic beverage industry to support balanced, healthy lifestyles for all Canadians," said Jim Goetz, President, Canadian Beverage Association. "We will leverage our strengths in marketing and innovation and our vast distribution networks to work toward our goal."

The Conference Board of Canada, an independent, evidence-based, action-oriented research organization with a non-partisan, balanced perspective, is partnered with Canadian Beverage Association and its members to benchmark and verify progress of this program.

"Healthy food is one of the five elements outlined in The Conference Board of Canada's Food Strategy where we addressed the powerful impact of dietary patterns on the health and well-being of Canadians," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy of The Conference Board of Canada. "We are pleased to join this initiative as a long-term partner to collectively determine success metrics as we share the same belief that food and diet improve personal health and help Canadians live longer, healthier lives."

Balance Calories is designed to:

  • Increase consumer awareness of calorie balance through a national, multi-year engagement and advocacy program
  • Increase interest-in and access-to reduced calorie beverage options

Over the course of the next few months, CBA members, Conference Board of Canada, and in consultation with other public, private and not-for-profit stakeholders will determine appropriate benchmarks, measurement criteria and specific immediate and long-term action items to support Balance Calories.  

As Balance Calories program benchmarks and measurement criteria are confirmed, and the program moves into the execution phase, CBA and Conference Board of Canada will keep stakeholders and the Canadian public up-to-date on its progress and roll-out plans.

Visit www.balancecalories.ca for more information.

About the Canadian Beverage Association

Established in 1942, the Canadian Beverage Association is the national industry association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic refreshment beverages consumed in Canada.

The association represents more than 60 brands of juices, juice drinks, bottled waters, sports drinks, ready-to-serve iced teas and coffees, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, and other non-alcoholic beverages.

CBA members directly employ over 20,000 Canadians with production facilities, offices and distribution centers in virtually every jurisdiction across the country. The sale of members' products through grocery retail, food-service, vending, and convenience channels supports tens of thousands of independent businesses and hundreds of thousands of retail and food-service jobs.

SOURCE Canadian Beverage Association

For further information: Carolyn Fell, 416-362-2424 | 416-434-2194 | carolyn@canadianbeverage.ca

RELATED LINKS
www.refreshments.ca

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