MEDIA STATEMENT

1 October, 2015

Sugar Reduction Targets: Unnecessary and unwarranted

The Australian Beverages Council has responded to calls from Action on Sugar for drinks manufacturers to set sugar reductions on soft drinks, following research on the levels of free sugars found in soft drinks globally.

Geoff Parker, CEO of the Beverages Council says: “Calls for international manufacturers to set sugar reductions in soft drinks are unnecessary and entirely unwarranted. As it stands, the soft drink category in Australia has undergone a fundamental shift in the past 15 years and now nearly one in two drinks consumed are non-sugar varieties, compared to 30 per cent in 1997[1],” said Parker.

“The fact that three of the four biggest selling soft drinks in Australia are now zero or low kilojoule shows that manufacturers and the beverages industry are already taking significant action through innovation, reformulation and other initiatives, to provide consumers with variety and choices consistent with a healthy lifestyle.”

“Our research shows that Australians have embraced the extra choice and are opting for fewer kilojoules when it comes to the beverages they consume,” Mr Parker concluded.

“The key to a balanced lifestyle is moderation. Soft drinks, as with all food and beverages, have a place in an active, healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity.”

As an industry, we have undertaken significant measures to provide consumers with more information, including clear kilojoule labelling on the front of packs and smaller pack sizes.

“A healthier Australia starts with better education about exercise and balanced total diet, not enforced sugar reduction targets,” concludes Parker.

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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[1] Levy 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
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