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Beverage industry makes commitment to calorie disclosure

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — The American Beverage Association announced that consumers across the United States soon will find new front-of-pack labels on their favorite beverages as part of an effort by America’s leading nonalcoholic beverage companies to bring the Clear on Calories initiative to stores.

The beverage industry’s voluntary commitment to make calories more visible and useful to consumers supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s "Let’s Move!" efforts, designed to help families make informed choices as part of an active, healthy lifestyle, the American Beverage Association reported. The labels denoting total calorie count will be displayed on every container that is 20 fl. oz. or smaller. The labels began appearing on some beverages last fall and now are in stores across the nation.

The initiative is supported by such beverage manufacturers as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Sunny Delight Beverages, Nestle Waters North America, Cott Beverages and Honest Tea. The companies expect to have the calorie label on the front of all of their major brands and more than half of their product volume by June of this year — and on all brands and packages by early 2012 as committed.

"The new labels put calorie information at the fingertips of consumers at every point of purchase so they can choose the beverage that is right for them and their families," Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association, said. "By putting the calories on the front of beverages, we’re making it easier for consumers to make informed choices. It’s one more way that America’s beverage companies are doing their part to help people achieve a healthy weight by balancing their diet and physical activity."

In related news, the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association recently announced their Nutrition Keys initiative, a voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling system that is part of the lobbying groups’ efforts to fight the obesity epidemic in the United States.

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J.M. Smucker to boost coffee prices

BY Allison Cerra

ORRVILLE, Ohio — The J.M. Smucker Co. said it is increasing the list price for many of its coffee products sold under the Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts brand names.

The company said prices will rise an average of 10% for the aforementioned items as part of its sustainability efforts.

J. M. Smucker noted that it holds a license for the Dunkin’ Donuts brand and sells the brand-name packaged coffee products across various retail channels, not including Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants.

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Dannon’s Activia Parfait Crunch hits store shelves

BY Allison Cerra

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Dannon has expanded its Activia line with a blend of low-fat yogurt, fruit pieces and low-fat crunchy granola.

New Activia Parfait Crunch contains 220 calories and 3 g of fat per 6-oz. container. Rolling out nationwide this month, Parfait Crunch will be available in strawberry and granola, mixed berry and granola, vanilla and granola, and peach and granola varieties.

Dannon’s Activia yogurt contains a probiotic culture that helps regulate the digestive system, according to the company.

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