Coca-Cola Ups Ante in Fight Against Obesity

Published in CSP Daily News

Outlines actions for products, packaging, marketing

Nathan Deal (left), Muhtar Kent, Kasim Reed

ATLANTA-- The Coca-Cola Co. has announces four global business commitments to further contribute to healthier, happier and more active communities. These commitments, which apply to the more than 200 countries where we do business, are to:

1. Offer low-calorie or no-calorie beverage options in every market.

2. Provide transparent nutrition information, featuring calories on the front of all of our packages.

3. Help get people moving by supporting physical activity programs in every country where we do business.

4. Market responsibly, including no advertising to children under 12 anywhere in the world.

"Obesity is today's most challenging health issue, affecting nearly every family and community across the globe. It is a global societal problem which will take all of us working together and doing our part," said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta. "We are committed to being part of the solution, working closely with partners from business, government and civil society. [The] announcement is another step forward on our journey, as we take action with scale and reach across every country and continent where we operate."

Kent made the global announcement Wednesday in commemoration of the 127th anniversary of Coca-Cola. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joined him to kick off a series of programs designed to help get Georgians moving.

The announcement in Georgia builds on recent partnerships the company has undertaken in Chicago, San Antonio and other cities.

Already, Coca-Cola has taken a number of important steps, including product and packaging innovations including smaller portion sizes with expansion of mini-cans in the United States, Australia, Canada, Korea and Thailand. The Coca-Cola system currently supports hundreds of active, healthy living programs in more than 115 countries reaching millions of people and is putting calories on the front of nearly all our beverages worldwide.

The company also has committed to publicly and actively measure the scale and reach of its efforts on www.comingtogether.com. The digital platform provides further details about the company's global commitments and invites people to learn more about what the company is doing, track its progress, post feedback and exchange ideas on how we can collectively promote choice, energy balance and movement.

Coca-Cola sells nonalcoholic beverages in nearly every beverage category--from sparkling beverages to water, enhanced and flavored water beverages, tea, coffee, juice and juice drinks, sports beverages and energy drinks. The broad portfolio includes nearly 800 low-calorie and no-calorie beverages, representing 25% of the global portfolio. It will continue innovating portion-controlled packages and new, natural zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia, because the company believes choice comes in many tastes, shapes and sizes.

With more than 500 sparkling and still brands, Coca-Cola is the world's largest beverage company. Led by the Coca-Cola brand, its portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks.

For more on how beverage makers are taking part in the fight against obesity, see the June issue of CSPmagazine.