Following New York City’s soda ban, beverage companies are scrambling to protect themselves before similar measure are taken across the country. Now Coke, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper are introducing new vending machines that will display the calorie content of their drinks, to be released in Chicago and San Antonio in 2013 and rolling out on a national level soon after.
The American Beverage Association will oversee these new machines, and aims to raise awareness for health concerns about sugary beverages by displaying messages such as “Try a Low-Calorie Beverage.” The machines will also increase the availability of low-calories drinks, and will feature calories information for each choice of beverage. The average 12-ounce can of regular soda has 140 calories and 40 gram of high-fructose corn syrup. Diet sodas are typically sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, and contain zero calories.
After New York City approved a ban to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks of 16 ounces in the city’s restaurants, movie theaters and stadiums, many soda producers are wondering whether the label on the back of a soda bottle is enough warning to consumers. However the beverage industry still does not support this measure, saying that the soda ban eliminates the customer’s personal choice.
Overall soft drink consumption in the U.S. has been steadily declining since 1998, and soft drink producers have to deal with changing consumer habits. This decline is most likely due to increased beverage options, like flavored waters, sports drinks and even new powder-based products. Coca-Cola is set to release Dasani Drops soon as a portable flavor-enhancer to combine with water and create a personalized beverage. In addition to new products, soda manufacturers will be developing more diet options to steer consumers away from their high-calorie products.
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