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Coke and Pepsi Pledge to Cut Calories

Sep 23, 2014

The country's three largest soda companies promised Tuesday to reduce the calories in sugary drinks by 20% over the next decade, an unprecedented effort by the beverage industry to fight obesity in the U.S.—and a tacit recognition of consumers' increasing aversion for high-calorie soft drinks.

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the Dr Pepper Snapple will expand the presence of low- and zero-calorie drinks and sell drinks in smaller portions, as well as provide calorie counts and promote calorie awareness where their beverages are sold, the American Beverage Association said in a statement.

The commitment was announced at the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

"This is huge," former President Bill Clinton told the New York Times. "I’ve heard it could mean a couple of pounds of weight lost each year in some cases."

Consumers over the next 10 years will see the beverage giants' new marketing strategy and product mix everywhere from company-owned vending machines and coolers in convenience stores, to fountain soda dispensers in fast-food restaurants and movie theaters, to grocery store sales and end-of-aisle promotions.

“This initiative will help transform the beverage landscape in America," said Susan K. Neely, president of the American Beverage Association in a statement. "It takes our efforts to provide consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories to an ambitious new level."

Read more from the American Beverage Association here.

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