Beverage Companies Respond to FDA Announcement on Nutrition Facts Panel
In response to today’s release of the FDA rule change on the Nutrition Facts Panel, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:
“We believe that people should have clear and understandable nutrition facts about foods and beverages so that they can make informed choices that are right for themselves and their families. America’s beverage companies have supported nutrition transparency; it’s why we voluntarily placed clear calorie labels on the front of every bottle and can we produce in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign in 2010.
“We look forward to continuing our commitment to offer a wide variety of beverages – including more low- and no-calorie options and smaller portion sizes – and to engaging with the FDA to make sure consumers have the information they need.”
For Background Purposes:
America’s beverage companies have gone beyond required labeling by taking voluntary steps to ensure our consumers get clear and understandable information on nutrition:
- America’s beverage companies in 2010 announced that they would begin placing prominent clear calorie labels on the very front of every bottle, can and pack produced. The voluntary initiative was launched in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign. Mrs. Obama praised the Clear on Calories initiative when announcing her campaign: “In fact, just today, the nation's largest beverage companies announced that they'll be taking steps to provide clearly visible information about calories on the front of their products - as well as on vending machines and soda fountains. This is exactly the kind of vital information parents need to make good choices for their kids.”
- Beverage companies launched the Calories Count™ Beverage Vending Program in 2013 to make it easy for consumers to check the calories of their beverages when making selections, and to remind them that beverage calories matter. “Calories Count – Check then Choose” messages were placed on the front of vending machines and vending machines buttons were updated to include calorie information for each choice.
- Beginning in 2010, beverage companies voluntarily adopted the serving size changes that FDA announced today, giving our consumers more relevant nutrition information on our package labels years ahead of the FDA deadline. With FDA’s approval, beverage companies redesigned thousands of package labels to reflect a 12-ounce serving size. Only packages for juice and juice drinks continue to use an 8-ounce serving size, as directed by the FDA.
Beverage companies are pro-actively working nationwide to help Americans reduce the calories they get from beverages:
- In partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, beverage companies announced a nationwide initiative in 2014 to reduce beverage calories in the American diet. To do so, we are leveraging our marketing, innovation and distribution strength to provide consumers more reduced-calorie and smaller-portion choices, calorie information at every point of purchase, and visible calls to action to remind consumers about calories and the importance of balancing what they eat, drink and do. Our Balanced Calories Initiative seeks to reduce beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent nationally by 2025, making it the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity.
- The ABA and its member companies joined with Mrs. Obama for “Drink Up!,” the 2013 initiative launched by the Partnership for a Healthier America to promote water consumption. The “Drink Up” logo was placed on bottled water, packaging, company trucks and in advertising to help boost Mrs. Obama’s campaign to get Americans to drink more water.
- America’s beverage companies have voluntarily reduced calories from beverages sold in schools by 90 percent through the national School Beverage Guidelines, in which companies agreed to remove full-calorie soft drinks from schools and replace them with more lower-calorie options and smaller portions sizes.
- The ABA and its member companies actively supported the passage of the landmark Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which included the first-ever “Smart Snacks nutritional standards for foods and beverages sold on school campuses during the school day.
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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.