The European soft drinks industry announced in February 2017 that it is tripling the pace of its added sugars reduction to deliver a further 10% by 2020. The sector already reduced calories by 12% since 2000.
This initiative meets changing consumer preferences for lower sugar products and also responds to the EU call for reformulation and sugar reduction across the food industry. UNESDA is the first food and drink sector to respond to the EU Added Sugar Annex and its 10% sugar reduction target. It hopes that others will follow suit in order to generate critical mass.
The 10% added sugars reduction will be achieved through:
– Reformulating existing products
– Innovating to introduce new products with no or reduced sugar
– Increasing the availability of smaller pack sizes to allow portion control, and
– Placing promotion behind drinks with reduced and no sugar to encourage consumer choice
In 2019, UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe announced it is on track to meet its voluntary commitment to reduce added sugars by 10% by 2020. A mid-term evaluation – conducted by third party auditors GlobalData – found that the average sugar level in European soft drinks has been reduced by 11.9% from 2015-2017.