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Soft drink companies to slash the amount of sugar they use (all except Coke, that is!)

By Rachel O'Regan |


I Quit Sugar - Soft drink companies to slash the amount of sugar they use (all except Coke, that is!)

  • Soft drink and food giants have pledged to reduce the sugar in their products by 20 per cent before 2020.
  • But Coca-Cola is only promising five percent over nine years… and the classic Coke drink will not be reformulated.
  • This comes just days before UK Prime Minister David Cameron makes his move on the country’s proposed 20 per cent sugar tax. Hmm…

Manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s and Suntory have pledged to reduce the sugar content in products by 20 per cent before 2020.

Kellogg’s says it will cut 723 tons of sugar next year from all its cereals, including the teeth-rotting Frosties and Coco Pops. The new formula would reduce the sugar levels in such cereals from 35 per cent to 20 per cent. (Baby steps!)

Meanwhile Suntory (maker of Ribena and Lucozade), promises to reduce sugar by 10 per cent before 2018, and 20 per cent by 2025 or sooner. And PepsiCo will finally ban TV ads directed at kids and billboards near schools. Better late than never, eh?

What’s Coke doing in all this?

We were interested in seeing what actions Coca-Cola would be taking, as it is arguably the most influential company of the lot. The company is aiming for a five per cent reduction in sugar in its products over nine years, but its namesake product (the one that sells 1.8 billion bottles a day) is not included in this goal.

Meanwhile, the sugar tax debate is ready to blow.

Colour us cynical, but we find it interesting that these companies are making such bold claims just days before David Cameron is due to make a decision regarding the long-debated sugar tax. Could they be trying to ward off legislation with promises of self-regulation?

 

Could the tide be turning, or is this just another ploy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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