Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 10, 2011 10:58 AM
France is the latest nation to impose a so-called fat tax on sugary beverages (except for zero-calorie diet drinks), while American campaigns to curb the consumption of non-diet sugary beverages continues.
Los Angeles county just launched a public awareness campaign, its first aimed at 'sugar-loaded' beverages.
LA's move follows a high-profile campaign earlier this year by New York City targeting soda consumption, citing statistics such as few sugary drinks a day adds up to 93 packets of sugar and leads to serious health issues and disease.
Sugary drinks are the number one source of calories in the average American diet and health advocates are still reeling from the recent rejection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of a pilot proposal banning soda from New York food stamp purchases proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Despite such efforts, more than 50% of Americans still drink too much soda with the highest consumption among minorities, the poor and the young, according to a recent study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2011 11:31 AM
The first cracks are appearing in the US federal governent's regulatory edifice regarding the tough new restrictions it is considering on marketing food to kids. And while CPG manufacturers aren't popping corks, they are encouraged that the government's Interagency Working Group (IWG) finally appears to be listening to their concerns — and those of several dozen congressmen and senators who have been pushing back as well.
In response to a letter from Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, heads of three of the four agencies in the group — which consist of the FDA and other relevant regulators involved in the public effort — said that they anticipate "making significant changes to both the marketing and nutrition principles as [the IWG] develops final recommendations."
That is music to the ears of Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers, which has been heavily involved in the resistance to the regulators' proposed "voluntary" guidelines. As is, they would require food, beverage and restaurant brands to either modify products or cut out all marketing aimed at children under 18 for products that don't meet new nutrition standards.
The industry has been trying to get the Obama administration (and its recently intensified efforts) to let them attack the childhood-obesity problem on a self-regulatory basis, without imposing what they see as draconian government regulations.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 26, 2011 03:01 PM
The Green Bay Packers dispatched its sworn enemy, the Chicago Bears, this past weekend in a win that moves the team to an undefeated record of 3-0. But the defending Super Bowl champions appear to have picked up a sworn enemy off the field as well.
A new billboard on the highway to "Title Town," Green Bay's legendary Lambeau Field, warns Wisconsinites that cheese, the state's most identifiable product and characteristic, can kill them. Unsurprisingly, some in Wisconsin are throwing a yellow flag on the ad. Worse, the poor sporstmanship may backfire.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 26, 2011 01:57 PM
Like pretty much everybody else in the world, France is having some financial troubles these days. So to help replenish the national coffers, the country is considering putting a tax on sugary beverages.
That tax, however, seems to be increasing the heart rate of execs at the Sugary Beverage World Leader, Coca-Cola. The company said earlier this month that “it has suspended plans for a euro17 million ($24 million) investment in France to protest” the tax, according to ABC News.
The decision on whether to make the investment or not will wait until parliament debates the issue. The company claims the tax would be “unfair,” ABC reports, because it is focused on beverages that are “not harmful to health.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2011 11:54 AM
The growing fight between the federal government and the food and beverage industry over front-of-package nutritional labeling is going to come down to these words: "Some product icons may also provide information about fiber, vitamins, calcium and other nutrients that are essential for a healthy diet."
This sentence is taken from the new web site that describes the labeling system being pursued by the industry and being promoted now in the early stages of a $50 million consumer awareness campaign. Companies understandably want to be able to tout the positive nutritional attributes of their branded products in addition to listing, in an easy-to-understand, standard format, what might be called the "baddies": sugar, saturated fats, calories and sodium.
Mainstream food and beverage manufacturers have spent billions of dollars reformulating old products and introducing new ones along better-for-you lines over the last several years, so why shouldn't they want to promote these advantages to consumers right there on the front of the package?Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 19, 2011 03:15 PM
American brands are starting to use some disturbing history as pretense for what kinds of marketing tactics they believe may work in a troubled U.S. economy. Coca-Cola has been doing that lately by offering a greater variety of small beverages sizes and lower price points in the American market — an idea with its origins in the success of a similar gambit in Mexico in the wake of its 1994 peso devaluation and economic crisis.
Coke plans to announce this week the launch of a 12.5-ounce, 89-cent bottle, broadening its menu of smaller alternatives to its traditional 20-ounce single-serve bottle, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Last year, Coke rolled out a 16-ounce, 99-cent alternative to the 20-ounce size. The company also plans on slashing prices of its existing 7.5-ounce "mini" cans in supermarkets by about 20 percent, to $2.99, the report adds. The smaller packages carry lower sticker prices, but of course, higher margins for Coke because the consumer pays more per ounce.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2011 07:44 PM
Boston isn't the only US city that's not sweet on sugar these days. In what seems to be a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, sugar producers are suing corn processors in Los Angeles for peddling unhealthy products.
C&H Sugar and other groups of sugar-cane and beet farmers sued in Los Angeles this week to block Cargill, Archer-Daniels-Midland and other members of the Corn Refiners Association who produce high-fructose corn syrup from rebranding their product as "corn sugar."
The court battle kicked off today, with sugar farmers claiming they want to save nutrition-minded Americans from the companies' false advertising and efforts to undermine good ol' American healthy eating.
It's no surprise that even sugar producers would want to keep their distance from the HFCS Complex these days.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 13, 2011 12:41 PM
New York City aimed to disgust New Yorkers on the notion of imbibing sugary beverages with a graphic campaign that launched last fall (all that was missing were street signs warning, "Don't even think about drinking that soda.")
Now it's Boston's turn to crack down on sweetened soda brands. Beantown officials have launched a public health media blitz including spots that state: "Don’t get smacked by fat. Calories from sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, and sports drinks can cause obesity and type 2 diabetes."
As you'll see below, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is on a mission to rid the streets of the public health scourges.Continue reading...