"The new labels put calorie information at the fingertips of consumers at every point of purchase so they can choose the beverage that is right for them and their families," says Susan K. Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. "By putting the calories on the front of beverages, we're making it easier for consumers to make informed choices. It's one more way that America's beverage companies are doing their part to help people achieve a healthy weight by balancing their diet and physical activity."
Beverage companies are adding the new calorie labels to the front of every can, bottle and pack they produce–and displaying the total calories per container on all beverages of 20 ounces or less. The labels began appearing on some beverages last fall and are now in stores across the nation. The companies expect to have the calorie label on the front of all of their major brands and more than half their product volume by June of this year-and on all brands and packages by early 2012 as committed.
This calorie labeling initiative is part of the industry's Clear on Calories commitment, announced last year in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign to end childhood obesity in a generation.
Sunny Delight Beverages Co. (SDBC) announced Feb. 8 that it has successfully reduced calories across its entire product portfolio by 46%, while maintaining the taste profiles. The company also announced it will display calorie numbers on all front-of-pack labeling, thus becoming one of the first to comply with the American Beverage Association's new program in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" anti-obesity campaign.
Other participating companies: The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Nestlé Waters North America, Cott Beverages and Honest Tea.
The beverage companies are redesigning and converting the package labels across their broad portfolios of products, which include soft drinks, 100% juice and juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas, sports drinks, enhanced water beverages and bottled water.
The calorie label was developed last year and tested with consumers to make sure it provided clear and easy-to-use information they could use to make informed choices when buying a beverage. The industry worked with the White House and its agencies throughout the label development process and remains in contact with the administration throughout implementation of this initiative.