Media statement

10 September 2013

Australian Beverages Council slams Rethink Sugary Drinks latest campaign.

“This campaign is ill-conceived and these groups should be encouraging industry leaders like Coca-Cola in opening up the dialogue around the role food and beverage companies can play to be part of the solution” said the Council’s CEO, Geoff Parker.

“No one, whether from Government, industry, health organisations or the general public, would dispute that more needs to be done to tackle obesity in Australia.

“The Australian Beverages Council maintains, and many health experts agree, that we simply cannot continue to focus on a single source of kilojoules in the diet. This hasn’t worked in the past and ignores the concept of the total diet.

“The industry is committed to offering options and adapting to the changing lifestyles of Australians. Sales of diet and low kilojoule drinks have been increasing since 2002, and today one in three soft drinks sold in Australia is diet or low kilojoule.

Over the last decade the Australian beverage industry has taken a proactive approach to being part of the solution in addressing the complex and multi-factorial issue of obesity and they deserve to have a seat at the table. The industry has voluntarily:

  •  Prohibited marketing of sugar-sweetened beverages to children under 12 years of age
  •  Restricted sales of sugar-sweetened soft drinks in primary schools and is compliant with all relevant school canteen guidelines
  • Clearly labelled the kilojoules on a per serve basis on the front label of cans and bottles
  •  Reformulated products to include a wide range of low and no kilojoule options

MR – Australian Beverages Council slams Rethink Sugary Drinks latest campaign
Media contact:
Geoff Parker – CEO, Australian Beverages Council
Mobile: +61 (0)407 646 195

The Australian Beverages Council is the peak body for the non-alcoholic beverages industry and represents 95% of the industry’s production volume through membership.