Monday 23 November 2015

Coca-Cola and the UK Government's Responsibility Deal

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One of the first things explained to us at our breakfast symposium was how Coca-Cola are responding to the UK Government's Responsibility Deal from 2011. They made certain commitments to making the 96 products in their portfolio as healthy as possible for their consumers:

• Reduce the average calories per litre of their sparkling drinks by 5% by the end of 2014

• Reduce the calories in some of their leading soft drinks by at least 30%

• Increase the money they spend on marketing our zero calorie colas by 25%

These were impressive targets to reach and as messing with people's favourite beverages can lead to turning consumers away! However it appears that they have more than met their aims:

• They have reduced the average calories per litre in their sparkling drinks by 5.3%

• They reduced the calorie and sugar content of Sprite, Dr Pepper, Fanta Fruit Twist and glaceau vitaminwater by more than 30%. They have used stevia extract to replace some sugar instead of using artificial sweeteners. This has been done in partnership with the 

Global Stevia Institute. If you want to learn more about Stevia then this video is full of fascinating information:

• They increased their marketing investment in their zero calorie colas by 52%

So how did they manage to achieve their aims?

  1. They made sure all of their major brands have a widely available no-sugar, no-calorie or lower calorie alternative
  2. They invested £15 million in reformulating some of their best known drinks in order to reduce the calorie and sugar content between 2012-14
  3. In 2014, they launched Coca-Cola Life in Great Britain, their first lower calorie cola with a third less sugar and fewer calories than Coca-Cola. They also launched a new bottled water brand, glacéau smartwater, made from British spring water
  4. This year they are adopting the Department of Health’s voluntary front-of-pack labelling scheme which combines nutrient amounts and percentage Reference Intakes with colour coding to show how much energy (calories),fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt are in a product

Apparently they are not done yet and have made even more commitments:

• By 2020, Great Britain will aim to be the first country in the world where 50% of the cola they sell will be lower or no-calorie

• They will continue to reduce the number of calories per litre in their drinks, cutting a further 5% across their range by 2025

• To achieve this, for the first time ever, they have adopted a ‘one brand’ marketing strategy, uniting four separate Coca-Cola brands as one brand with four variants to choose from - making choice easier and clearer for consumers.

Here I am trying the blind taste test on the four colas and failing to guess which was which:

If you want to find out how much caffeine you are consuming then Coca-Cola have created a handy online tool. For those that want to not drink lower calorie versions you may want to know how much exercise you need to do to work off your can of Coca-Cola.

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