Coca-Cola’s global plan to help customers count calories

The Coca-Cola Company plans to include energy information regarding calories, kilocalories and kilojoules per serving on the front of nearly all product packages in a global move to increase consumers’ awareness about the calorie content of its beverages.

Coca-Cola says that it is the first company in the beverage industry to make this kind of international commitment.

The new labels have been created to help make it make it easy 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 already rolled out front-of-pack energy labelling throughout Europe and Australia with Mexico and the United States currently in roll-out phase. 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,” says 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 the United States, the new labelling replicates 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.”
Dr. Rhona Applebaum, chief scientific & regulatory officer, says: “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.”

The new labelling will show calories, kilocalories or kilojoules per serving on nearly all Coca-Cola beverages, including all sparkling beverages, teas, energy drinks, flavoured water beverages, juices and juice drinks.

According to local regulations, label information may also include percent Daily Guidance Indicators to show how the quantities of select nutrients fit into the national or regional dietary guidelines. Nationally appropriate terms, such as Guideline Daily Amounts (EU) and Daily Values (US and Canada), will be used when providing this information. The only Coca-Cola products excluded from the policy are fountain drinks, unsweetened/unflavoured waters and returnable bottles.

Company chief marketing and commercial officer Joseph Tripodi has jut repudiated calls from US medical experts for a “fat tax” to be imposed on soft drink companies sin the US, calling it a “simplistic solution to a complex problem.”

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