PepsiCo to reduce added sugars in beverages

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-Abhay Saxena

PepsiCo Inc has reiterated its commitment to reduce the production and sale of its sugary beverages over next decade in wake of government’s decision to raise the taxes over soft drinks and fruit juices in order to reduce obesity and combat increasing incidents of diabetes.

It has been stated by the company that at least two-third of its beverage volume will have at most 100 calories from added sugar per 350 ml serving, a target it aims to achieve by 2025. The company had earlier said that added sugar in its key brands in some countries would be reduced by 25 per cent on a per-serving basis by the year 2020.

It can be recalled that the World Health Organization (WHO) has already recommended the governments to levy taxes on sugary drinks. It is expected that raising the prices by 20 per cent will also reduce the consumption by 20 per cent.  According to WHO reports, every third adult is an over-weight globally. The UK has already announced a sugar tax this year and countries like Mexico, Hungary and some US cities like Philadelphia have taken similar measures. The WHO recommends an intake of added sugar to be less than 10 per cent of individual’s energy needs. The UN agency even suggests that 5 per cent limit is even better.

In 2014, beverages companies like Coca-Cola Co., Snapple Group and PepsiCo had pledged that over next decade, they shall cut the calorie consumption from their beverages by 20 per cent by measures like introduction of smaller portion sizes of their regular drinks and low-calorie options like bottled water. PepsiCo has also set up goals for reduction of its products that contain higher levels of saturated fat and sodium.

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