Clear On Calories
Clear on Calories
The Calorie Label Initiative and Style Guide
America’s non-alcoholic beverage companies recognize that it will take all of us – government, school administrators, the public health community, health professionals parents and industry – working together to address the complex obesity challenge. That is why we are proud to step forward once again with a nationwide initiative that furthers our commitment to doing our part in a meaningful way: Clear on Calories. In support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity, The Coca-Cola Company, Cott Beverages, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Honest Tea, Nestlé Waters North America, PepsiCo, and Sunny D (the “beverage companies”) announced this voluntary commitment to make the number of calories in their products even more clear and consumer-friendly, putting calorie information at consumers’ fingertips at every point of purchase. Implementation started in 2010 and will be completed in 2012.
The Labeling Commitment
The beverage companies have pledged to display calorie counts in the following way:
- Product Labels: Total calorie counts on the front of all containers up to and including 20 fluid ounces; containers larger than 20 fluid ounces will be labeled per 12 fluid ounce serving for all beverages except 100% juices and juice beverages (per FDA request) which will be labeled per 8 fluid ounce serving size.
- Company-controlled Vending Machines: Total calorie counts per container displayed on selection buttons (or when infeasible, in close proximity to the specific selection).
- Company-controlled Fountain Equipment: Calorie counts displayed prominently.
Calorie Label Design and Placement
To meet the objectives of this initiative, the beverage companies agreed to use a uniform calorie label, consistent in both design and location. Multiple rounds of consumer research were fielded to measure noticeability and ease-of-understanding of various design concepts.
Specifications for implementing the calorie label on products are outlined in this document. Further guidance from FDA’s regulatory rulemaking is needed in order to finalize an approach to calorie labeling on vending and fountain equipment.
The Clear on Calories initiative is the newest in a series of concrete, meaningful actions taken by the non-alcoholic beverage industry to be part of the solution in helping reduce childhood obesity, including:
- Product innovation. Industry continues to meet the evolving tastes of the American consumer. From 1998 to 2008, beverage calories in the marketplace have declined by 21 percent driven largely by consumer interest in the growing range of zero-calorie, low-calorie, reduced-calorie and portion-controlled beverage choices offered by the beverage industry.
- Cutting calories in schools. The beverage industry delivered on its commitment to change the beverage landscape in America’s schools by removing full-calorie soft drinks and providing more lower-calorie, nutritious, and smaller-portion beverage options. Through these efforts, ABA members have reduced beverage calories shipped to schools by 88 percent since 2004.
- Marketing responsibly. ABA members have committed to global marketing standards that prevent marketing of beverages other than fruit juice, milk and water in programming targeted to children under the age of 12. In addition, many beverage companies participate in the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, which further limits marketing to children.
Praise for Clear on Calories:
“In fact, just today, the nation’s largest beverage companies announced that they’ll be taking steps to provide clearly visible information about calories on the front of their products – as well as on vending machines and soda fountains. This is exactly the kind of vital information parents need to make good choices for their kids.”
-Former First Lady Michelle Obama, as noted in her speech announcing the launch of “Let’s Move!” (Feb. 9, 2010)