27 March 2015

MEDIA STATEMENT

Australian Beverages Council responds to calls for more regulations of soft drinks

In response to renewed calls by some health groups for more education and sales restriction of soft drinks, based off new figures from Roy Morgan Research, the Australian Beverages Council issued the following statement:

Statement:

“Australians’ beverage preferences change according to life stage and we have witnessed a significant shift from sugar-sweetened towards non-sugar sweetened drinks in the last 15 years.

Limiting or restricting the availability of soft drinks doesn’t teach a healthy lifestyle or encourage responsible consumption. Education, combined with common sense, is the only way to ensure consumers are making sensible choices about what they eat and drink.

As an industry, we have taken significant measures to ensure consumers are able to make informed choices, including displaying kilojoule information on the front of labels, restricting sales of regular kilojoule soft drinks in schools and not marketing to kids under 12.

We listen and respond to the needs of our consumers – and offer increased variety and choice including low and no-sugar variety beverages and a range of smaller pack sizes.”

Additional background:

  • Just 1.9 per cent of the daily intake of kilojoules for Australian children under 18 comes from soft drinks.1
  • Research released last year2 showed nearly one in two water-based beverages sold were now non-sugar varieties (42% volume share in 2011), compared to 30% in 1997
  • Long-term trends in sales highlight:
    • One in three carbonated soft drinks consumed are non-sugar (33% of total soft drink sales, 2011)
    • Sugar contribution from water based beverages (e.g. soft drinks, sports drinks, iced tea) for each person has dropped by 17 per cent between 1997 and 2011
  • The Australian Beverages Council resolved to voluntarily adopt additional labelling commitments to assist consumers in selecting the appropriate beverage to suit their specific dietary needs and to help them calculate the total amount of energy that they are consuming

-ENDS-

References:

1Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results – Food and Nutrients, 2011-12, cat. no. 4364.0.55.007, viewed 2 August 2014,

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.007~2011-12~Main%20Features~Discretionary%20foods~700. These results are based on Day 1 Intake data only.

*Soft drinks include regular, diet, low kJ.

2Levy G.S., Shrapnel W.S. (2014) Quenching Australia’s thirst: a trend analysis of water-based beverage sales from 1997 to 2011. Nutrition & Dietetics. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12108

Media contact:

Geoff Parker – Chief Executive Officer, Australian Beverages Council

+61 (0)407 646 195

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak body for the non-alcoholic beverages industry and represents 95% of the industry’s production volume through membership.

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