Saturday, December 2, 2023

Soft drink makers to reduce calorie content another 20% by 2024

Soft drink producers have committed to reducing the calorie content of the drinks they make and sell in Mexico by another 20%.

ANPRAC, the national soft drink makers’ association, said in a statement that drinks made at the 120 bottling plants it represents will have one-fifth fewer calories by 2024.

The association noted that its members, among whom are Coca-Cola Femsa, Coke-bottler Arca Continental and Grupo Peñafiel, have already reduced calories in their beverages by 55% over the past 10 years, meaning that some products on shelves in 2024 will have 75% fewer calories than they originally had.

ANPRAC said it will also continue to develop new products that are available in a range of sizes to suit consumers’ needs.

“We’ve [already] launched 172 new low-calorie and no-calorie products with the aim of offering options for all lifestyles,” the statement said.

A 1 peso per liter soda tax designed to reduce consumption was introduced in Mexico in 2014 and was raised to 1.17 pesos per liter in 2018.

However, Mexico – where millions of people suffer from obesity, type 2 diabetes and other conditions linked to diet –continues to be one of the world’s largest soda consumers.

President López Obrador acknowledged on September 30 that taxes on unhealthy foods and beverages as well as cigarettes had not been successful in discouraging their consumption.

“It can’t only be about paying more taxes, there needs to be more information for the people,” he said.

The next day, the lower house of Congress passed modifications to the General Health Law that stipulate that the labels on food and drinks must warn consumers if they contain high levels of calories, sugar, salt or saturated fat.

The Senate approved the modifications in late October, meaning that health-risk warnings should soon begin appearing on products whose consumption is considered harmful to human health.

Source: El Economista (sp) 

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