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Coke to relabel products in new health drive

By Dominique Patton , 29-Aug-2006

Coca-Coca Australia will relabel all of its drinks to include the number of kilojoules on the front of the package, as part of a major new marketing campaign to show the group's healthy credentials.

By making the kilojoule content of a product easier to find, Coca-Cola claims people can take greater responsibility for their energy intake.

 

 

 

The Australian food and beverage industry is under growing pressure from consumer groups and government to take responsibility for the obesity problem that affects a rapidly growing number of children.

 

 

 

Some doctors have called for a fat-tax to be implemented on sugary or high-fat foods while consumer groups want a ban on advertising soft drinks to children.

 

 

 

Coca-Cola called its relabelling plan, announced today, "a significant nutrition labelling initiative to help every Australian make healthy dietary choices".

 

 

 

The announcement comes ahead of the release of a new Australian Beverages Council advertising and labelling policy signed by most non-alcoholic beverage manufacturers.

 

 

 

Coca-Cola Australia said it had consulted with stakeholders and consumer groups on how best to communicate nutrient information "in a more meaningful, user-friendly and visible way".

 

 

 

The new front-of-pack labeling, which will reach the shelves by the end of the year, will feature a clear statement of the number of kilojoules per serving, along with the percentage they contribute to the recommended daily energy intake for an average adult.

 

 

 

The initiative was welcomed by the Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott.

 

 

 

"I congratulate Coca-Cola Australia on this initiative and hope other companies swiftly follow their example."

 

 

 

Coca-Cola Australian has also launched a consumer choice education campaign, Make Every Drop Matter, backed by a website (www.makeeverydropmatter.com.au), to educate consumers on how its drinks fit into a balanced diet.

 

 

 

Recent World Health Organisation (WHO) research showed that Australia is the only country in the world where childhood obesity is climbing faster than among adults. The number of overweight and obese children has doubled since 1985, and now affects 23 per cent of all those under the age of 16.

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