Beverage companies reduce sugar content across drink portfolios

Australia’s “leading” non-alcoholic beverage companies have reduced sugar across their drink portfolios by more than 16% between 2015 and 2021, placing them well on track to achieve the 20% sugar reduction target by 2025.

The finding was released today as part of KPMG’s 2021 ‘Sugar Reduction Pledge’ report, commissioned by the Australian Beverages Council Limited (ABCL) on behalf of Asahi Lifestyle Beverages (formerly Schweppes Australia), Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company.

The report found that for the first time in Australia, no and low sugar options now account for “half of all their beverage sales, up from 47% the previous year.”

“This reinforces consumption trends uncovered in previously published research on more than two decades of drink consumption in Australia; research which revealed a long-term shift in Australians’ non-alcoholic drink choices over the period.”

Sugar reduction is being driven by factors including the reformulation of existing products, launching new no and low sugar beverages and investing in marketing to drive sales of no and low sugar products.

ABCL CEO Geoff Parker says the sugar reduction pledge is an unprecedented commitment that’s having a positive impact in communities nationwide.

“The non-alcoholic beverages industry is leading the rest of the shopping trolley in working together to take action in encouraging healthier lifestyles while continuing to give Australians more beverage choices with less sugar.

“We know that our pledge to reduce sugar by 20% plays only a small part in helping address obesity given less than 2% of sugars in Australians’ diets are from full sugar soft drinks. Our industry encourages other sectors to develop their own commitments and play their part in addressing this complex health problem.”

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