PepsiCo Steps Up Push To Reduce Reliance On Sugary Beverages
PepsiCo Inc. ramped up its pledge to reduce the number of sugary beverages it sells over the next decade as governments increasingly tax soft drinks and fruit juices in an attempt to reduce obesity and diabetes.
At least two-thirds of the company’s beverage volume will have no more than 100 calories from added sugars per 12-ounce serving by 2025, the Purchase, New York-based company said in a statement Monday. The company had previously said it would reduce added sugars by 25 percent on a per-serving basis for key brands in some countries by 2020.
The move comes just a week after the World Health Organization recommended that governments adopt taxes on sugary drinks, saying that by driving retail prices up 20 percent, consumption will drop by a fifth. More than one in three adults are overweight, according to the Geneva-based United Nations agency. The U.K. announced a sugar tax this year, and similar measures have been implemented in Mexico, Hungary, and U.S. cities such as Philadelphia.
The WHO advises people to limit added sugar to less than 10 percent of their energy needs and says a 5 percent limit is even healthier. Pepsi, along with Coca-Cola Co. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, in 2014 pledged to cut the calories consumed from beverages by 20 percent over the next decade by introducing smaller portion sizes and lower-calorie options like bottled water.
Pepsi also set goals to reduce the proportion of products with higher levels of saturated fat and sodium as part of a broader set of sustainability targets unveiled Monday. Pepsi’s beverage portfolio includes its flagship cola, Mountain Dew, Tropicana orange juice and Gatorade energy drinks. One 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains 46 grams of sugar.
News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.