Global 'Front-of-Pack" Commitment - A Beverage Industry First - Aims to
Help Consumers Manage Their Energy Intake
TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - The Coca-Cola Company today announced global plans to include energy information (calories) per serving on the front of nearly all product packages in a move to increase consumers' awareness about the calorie content of its beverages.
Coca-Cola is the first company in the beverage industry to make this kind of international commitment.
The new labels seek to make it even easier for consumers worldwide to make more informed decisions about the beverages they drink based on their own individual taste preferences and nutritional needs. The Company already has successfully rolled out front-of-pack energy labeling throughout Europe and Australia with Mexico and the United States currently in roll-out phase. Canada will begin roll-out phase in February 2010 with sparkling beverages. The Coca-Cola Company's global commitment is to have front-of-pack energy information on all products by the end of 2011.
"Coca-Cola is the world's most valuable brand, and with that comes a leadership responsibility," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Now more than ever, people expect facts about the products they consume to be both readily available and visible. This global commitment is about making it easier for consumers to quickly see the calorie information for our beverages."
Research shows that front-of-pack energy information is an important tool in helping people balance their overall dietary intake and physical activity. In Canada, the new labeling augments mandatory nutrition information that is located in the Nutrition Facts box on the side panel of Coca-Cola products, making it easier for consumers to see it, "at-a-glance."
A recent Ipsos-Reid survey revealed 83 per cent of Canadians would like to see more transparency on food packaging. In addition, 77 per cent say the nutritional information on a product influences their decision to buy it. Coca-Cola product's new, easy-to-read front-of-package labeling will clearly illustrate how many calories the products contain, helping customers to make more informed decisions.
Dr. Rhona Applebaum, Chief Scientific & Regulatory Officer said, "We have been a leader in driving and promoting efforts to advance fact-based nutrition labeling. This new global commitment on front of pack energy is one more step in providing consumers with important information they need to enjoy any of our 3,000 beverages sensibly, wherever they live. Our new product labels aim to help people better balance their energy intake, as variety, moderation and regular physical activity are the keys to effective weight management."
In Canada, Coca-Cola Ltd. plans to begin with placing caloric information on the front of packages within the sparkling beverage portfolio. The new label will begin appearing on packages in February 2010. This voluntary action is part of the company's larger pledge to provide Canadian consumers with more widely available range of beverage options that include no calorie, low calorie and portion-controlled choices. The only Coca-Cola products excluded from the company policy are fountain drinks, unsweetened/unflavored waters and returnable bottles.
"Placing calories on the front of our products and packages is another step in our broader strategy to ensure we provide choice and more importantly informed choice to meet evolving consumer needs," said Bobby Brittain, Vice President, Sparkling. "With front-of-pack labeling, consumers can more easily select any one of our beverages to fit their daily energy and hydration needs."
"Ontario's doctors are acutely aware of the correlation between obesity and the number of calories consumed. We see patients everyday who want to lose weight to improve their health, but don't have the basic information to make healthy decisions," said Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, President of the Ontario Medical Association. "When calorie counts are clearly visible at the point of purchase, consumers can make choices that will help in the fight against obesity."
"Easy access to transparent information about calories in the foods and beverages we consume is important for making healthy decisions," said Dr. Arya Sharma, Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Obesity Network. "Living a healthy lifestyle isn't about avoiding certain foods or drinks - it's about achieving a balance. Coca-Cola Ltd. is leading by example in putting calories up front on their products, and I encourage all food and beverage producers to follow their lead."
"The answer to fighting obesity is balancing the number of calories we consume with the number of calories we expend," said Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Founder, Kids Health Foundation. "Providing consumers with more information, specifically around caloric content, will enable them to make more informed choices and help manage energy intake. I commend Coca-Cola for their leadership in this area and encourage other companies to do the same."
The new labeling and the broad portfolio of Coca-Cola products are complemented by a wide range of Coca-Cola-supported programs around the world that promote nutrition education and encourage physical activity among people of all ages. The Coca-Cola Company supports active, healthy living programs in 100 countries. Coca-Cola in Canada has partnered with ParticipACTION to launch a unique youth driven active living program that gives Canadian teens the tools to design their own individual get active plan. The program, SOGO Active, is being executed through intensive consultation with leading Canadian physical activity experts, teenagers and a broad network of provincial, territorial and community-based organizations. SOGO Active is a $5 million, five-year initiative. For more information visit www.sogoactive.com.
The Company has also been an Olympic partner since 1928 and is the longest continuous corporate supporter of the Olympic Movement. Supporting programs such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay allows Coca-Cola to help share the Olympic spirit around the world.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. In Canada, the Company is represented by its subsidiary, Coca-Cola Ltd. (Coca-Cola Canada). Coca-Cola is Canada's largest beverage company. Coca-Cola Canada markets three of Canada's top nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite. In addition, we are the largest juice and juice drinks company with Minute Maid, Fuze, Five Alive and Fruitopia and the leading ready to drink tea producer with Nestea. The Company also markets DASANI, PowerAde and other hot and cold beverages. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.coca-cola.ca.
About the Survey
The survey was administered through Ipsos' Online Omni from April 21, 2009 to April 27, 2009. A total sample of 1,024 residents were interviewed, weighting was used to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Resulting in an overall confidence interval of +/-3.1%, 95% of the time.
SOURCE COCA-COLA LTD.
For further information: For further information: Leigha Cotton, Coca-Cola Ltd., (416) 467-2192, firstname.lastname@example.org; Jennifer Hills, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2669, email@example.com