European soft drink producers have announced a commitment to further reduce added sugars in beverages.
The association representing Europe’s soft drinks producers, UNESDA, said the industry had decided to respond to evolving consumer preferences by reducing added sugars in soft drinks by 10% across the EU and the UK by 2025. This would represent a 33% overall reduction from 2015 levels.
The overall consumption of soft drinks in the European Union stands at a total of 50,000 million litres per year or 95 litres per capita on average. In Belgium, the average is a bit higher, at 123 litres per capita, but still a slight 3.9% decrease since 2014.
The commitment is also part of the industry’s response to the recently laid out EU ‘Farm to Fork strategy’ initiative for more sustainable food systems and code of conduct for responsible business and marketing practices.
“This additional 10% reduction in added sugars underlines our sector’s collective proactivity and determination to contribute to healthier and balanced diets in Europe,” Ian Ellington President of UNESDA said.
At a time of increased public health awareness, the industry has also committed to decrease direct marketing exposure to children.
Currently, no soft drinks are advertised anywhere in Europe to children younger than 12 years old, where audience consists of more than 35% of this age group. The industry will raise the minimum age limit to 13 years old and lower the audience threshold to 30%.