Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

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Coca-Cola to slash sugar content in Portugal

in News · 02-11-2017 14:13:00 · 0 Comments

The Coca-Cola group has said its most popular and sugary drinks on sale in Portugal and Spain will have their sugar levels slashed by 12 percent over the next three years to adapt to new needs and lifestyles.

Coca-Cola to slash sugar content in Portugal

This comes after a new tax was introduced in Portugal in February to drive a change to eating and drinking habits.
Coca-Cola, Fanta, Nordic Tonic and Aquarius will all be made less sugary and less calorific, Tiago Lima, head of the Coca-Cola group’s external relations for Portugal, told newspaper Diário de Notícias (DN).
“In addition to continuing to reduce the sugar content in beverages, we aim to reduce the level of sugar in our beverages by 12 percent by 2020, along with the introduction of new sugar-free drinks or an expansion of those that are already sugar-free”, he explained.
This is part of the multinational’s new strategy for Iberia, in which “we have a duty and concern to meet consumers’ tastes and needs by offering more beverage options, reducing sugar content, launching no-sugar or no-added sugar options, providing clear information, and having smaller packages”, Lima stressed.
Of the 100 products currently sold by the Coca-Cola group, 28 have no added sugar.
Earlier this year a tax on alcohol and alcoholic beverages was extended to sugary drinks.
Last month, Portugal’s Health Minister highlighted the success of the levy on sugary drinks, saying Portuguese will this year have consumed over 4.2 fewer tons of sugar than last year.
Minister, Adalberto Campos Fernandes, also said thanks to the tax, which was introduced in February, companies have made concerted efforts to supply healthier alternatives.
However, in comments to DN, Tiago Lima denied the group’s sugar reduction was in direct response to the tax, stressing the market-leading multinational altered its company policies in 2000.
“This is a new phase in a sugar-reduction strategy that we have been developing over the last decade, with the main objective being to respond to consumer needs and consumption trends”, he
clarified.
Sugar-free drinks represented 21 percent of Coca-Cola group’s sales in September, and, Tiago Lima said, the consumption of full-sugar drinks has dropped over the
last year.
Portugal currently has one of the highest child obesity rates in Europe, being among the top-five EU countries in terms of overweight teens.
One third of Portuguese children are estimated to be overweight, and, Alexandra Bento, head of the country’s nutritionists association, said this is largely due to mistakes being made by families in their eating habits and a general lack
of exercise.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated Portuguese children consume five times more sugar than the recommended daily 5 percent.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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