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May 26, 2015

Alliance for a Healthier Generation and America’s Beverage Companies Announce New York City Neighborhoods Now Part of Community Initiative To Help Reduce Beverage Calories Consumed

(NEW YORK) May 26, 2015 –The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and America’s beverage companies announced today that New York City will now be part of a community-based initiative to help reduce beverage calories consumed by 20 percent per person by 2025 in neighborhoods where there has been less interest in or access to lower-calorie and smaller-portion beverages.

New York, along with Los Angeles and Little Rock, will be the first three cities to participate in this highly-focused effort to reduce calories in neighborhoods where the availability and demand for no- and lower-calorie beverages fall below the national average. The community initiative is a component of the national agreement reached last fall by the Alliance, The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo and the American Beverage Association to decrease beverage calories in the American diet.

The New York City neighborhoods are located within the South Bronx as well as Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn.

Work toward this goal within the three cities’ neighborhoods will begin in the next month, with companies utilizing a range of marketplace activities such as making lower-calorie and smaller-portion beverages more available in stores, providing incentives for consumers to try these options and displaying new calorie awareness messages at points of sale. These activities will allow companies to test and learn in order to develop the best practices that can be implemented elsewhere.

Importantly, the companies and the Alliance will be engaging with community leaders to better understand the challenges in their neighborhoods as well as ascertain any ideas and support they might have for achieving the goal.

“Our companies are going to work in a very focused, deliberate manner with these communities to create interest in beverage options that can help them cut their calories,” said Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “This begins by offering more no- and low-calorie and smaller-portion choices, but also finding innovative ways to encourage consumers to try these products.  We are going to test and learn so we can truly transform the beverage landscape through solutions that work.”



Last September, the Alliance, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, and the beverage companies announced a landmark agreement to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025. An independent, third-party evaluator will track progress toward the goal.

Nationwide, the companies made a commitment to work toward this goal by leveraging their marketing, innovation and distribution strengths to increase and sustain consumer interest in and access to beverage options that will help consumers reduce calories consumed.

This national effort includes a “Community Initiative” that calls for a focused, aggressive, multi-pronged approach in neighborhoods within select cities where for a variety of reasons there has been less consumer interest in – and thus less access to – bottled water, lower-calorie and smaller-portion beverage choices. It’s this targeted work that will now get started within New York City, Los Angeles and Little Rock as the first neighborhoods in the Community Initiative, which ultimately will include neighborhoods from 10 cities total.

The Alliance, which empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits, described this goal as a “strong commitment” to help people reduce calories. The Alliance worked with beverage companies to establish the Alliance School Beverage Guidelines, which have resulted in a 90 percent reduction in beverage calories shipped to the nation’s schools.

“Reducing the number of calories consumed from beverages is critical to helping curb obesity and improve health in the United States,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance. “We applaud the beverage industry for focusing on these community interventions and will work closely with them to track and evaluate the impact of this work.”

Within the community initiative, the companies will work to bring a range of tailored tools to bear within these neighborhoods, marrying their strengths in marketing, innovation and distribution with insights from community leaders to overcome barriers to consumption of lower-calorie and smaller-portion beverage choices.

People in these neighborhoods will see, for example, more marketing of no- and low-calorie options in stores, bodegas and restaurants, smaller portion sizes such as mini-cans, and new calorie awareness information on coolers, vending machines and fountain equipment. They may also see companies utilize tools like taste tests and sampling programs, coupons and other incentives, and in-store displays featuring lower-calorie products.

Each company will implement its own strategy and review what engages the consumer, as well as what doesn’t.  These lessons will be used to improve the effectiveness of the initiative, with the best strategies being applied elsewhere throughout the city as well as other cities where they might work.  All of these efforts serving the common goal of reducing calories consumed from beverages in the American diet.



About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, empowers kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. The Alliance works with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals and families to build healthier environments for millions of children. To learn more and join the movement, visit www.HealthierGeneration.org

About the American Beverage Association
The American Beverage Association is the national trade organization representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States, including regular and diet soft drinks, bottled waters and water beverages, ready-to-drink teas, sports drinks, energy drinks, 100 percent juices and juice drinks.  ABA and its member companies have a longstanding commitment to being part of the solution to obesity. For more information, please visit www.deliveringchoices.org and www.ameribev.org.

ABA Press Office
(202) 463-6770

Megan McIntyre
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
(917) 399-5250