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November 6, 2019

New Report on Landmark Beverage Agreement Shows Second Consecutive Year of Reduction in Beverage Calorie Consumption Nationwide

Independent analysis finds decrease was driven by a reduction in calories from carbonated soft drinks, 100% juices and juice drinks, and growth in water

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) November 6, 2019 — An independent report released by Keybridge LLC today shows the second year of national declines in calories consumed from beverages, the strongest sign of progress in an effort by the beverage industry and the not-for-profit Alliance for a Healthier Generation to reduce the calories and sugar Americans get from beverages.

In 2014, the American Beverage Association (ABA), The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Keurig Dr Pepper (formerly Dr Pepper Snapple Group) and Healthier Generation announced the Beverage Calories Initiative (BCI), a commitment to reduce per-capita consumption of beverage calories by 20% nationally by 2025.

Conducted on an annual basis, analysis of progress toward this goal found that calories per person per day fell at a faster rate in 2018 than in previous years, driven by reductions in the calories consumers get from carbonated soft drinks, 100% juices and juice drinks. These calorie reductions occurred even though volume sales of all beverages per person increased by 1.5% in 2018, according to the analysis by Keybridge LLC.

A significant reduction in consumer calories has happened in packaged beverages – bottles, cans and packs - purchased in places like large chain stores that account for more than half of the beverage market. Decreases in consumer calories were also observed for the first time since the BCI launch in other key market segments, including fountain beverages sold at foodservice outlets as well as small and independent retailers.  

Overall, Keybridge’s analysis shows that from 2014 to 2018 beverage calories per person fell from 203.0 to 196.9. The calorie reductions came in the third and fourth years (3.0 calories per person in 2017; 3.3 in 2018) of the initiative.

“We are encouraged by the progress toward the 2025 target reflected in this report, particularly in categories, like fountain beverages, that were identified last year as areas of opportunity,” said Kathy Higgins, chief executive officer at Healthier Generation. “We are deeply committed to continuing to work with the beverage industry to accelerate this effort and its impact at a national level.”

“This latest progress report reinforces how innovations and marketing of smaller portion sizes and lower-calorie beverage choices can help reduce the sugar and calories Americans get from beverages,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “America’s leading beverage companies and public health groups can achieve meaningful progress when we work together to make it easier for families to balance their lives.”

Additional key takeaways from the 2018 national progress report include:

  • Average calories per 8-ounce serving of beverages decreased as consumers increasingly selected lower-calorie versions of all beverage categories.
  • This per-ounce decrease was driven by growth of the share of waters, including carbonated waters, in the overall product mix. Also driving the change was a decrease in the shares of full-calorie beverages.
  • For the first time since the launch of this initiative, the share of consumers choosing low- and no-calorie carbonated soft drinks over higher-calorie options grew in 2018.

For more than a decade, Healthier Generation has combined community interventions with cross-sector partnerships, collaborating with the business sector to create meaningful improvements in public health. In 2006, Healthier Generation, ABA, and America’s leading beverage companies entered into an agreement that reduced beverage calories shipped to the nation’s K-12 schools by more than 90%. The Beverage Calories Initiative builds upon this effort to decrease consumption of calories from beverages at both a national and local level.

Later this year, Healthier Generation and ABA will release a complementary report on the Beverage Calories Communities Initiative, which evaluates progress toward the 20% beverage calorie reduction goal in five communities where focused efforts have been underway.

The 2018 national report is available on the Healthier Generation website at www.healthiergeneration.org/bci and the American Beverage Association website at www.ameribev.org.

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About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation believes every child deserves a healthy future. For over a decade, Healthier Generation has empowered kids to develop lifelong healthy habits by ensuring the environments support their physical, social and emotional health. Driven by our passion that all young people deserve a chance to live healthier lives, our work, in total, has reached more than 29 million kids across the country. To learn more and help make a difference, visit HealthierGeneration.org and join us on Facebook and Twitter

About 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. For more information, please visit www.balanceus.org and www.ameribev.org.