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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 3, March 2010, Posted On: 2/14/2010

Beverage Giants To Post Calories On Package Fronts, Vending Machines And Fountains

Emily Jed
American Beverage Association, ABA, Let's Move, First Lady Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Food and Drug Administration, FDA, vending, vending machine, soda vending machine, vended cold drinks, drink sales

WASHINGTON -- Answering First Lady Michelle Obama's call for support of her "Let's Move" program to combat childhood obesity, the American Beverage Association reported that its members are committed to making calorie information more consumer-friendly by putting it on the front of all their packages, vending machines and fountain dispensers.

The voluntary commitment contributes to the first lady's efforts to help families make informed choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. The companies will coordinate with the Food and Drug Administration to implement the calorie initiative, which will exceed requirements imposed by the agency's food labeling regulations. ABA said the industry will start implementing the initiative across the country this year, with completion in 2012.

Total calorie counts will be displayed on the front of labels of the container, up to and including 20-fl.oz. products. A 12-fl.oz. serving size will be used in displaying calories for multi-serve beverage packages. The industry will coordinate with the FDA on its new calorie-labeling initiative to ensure that the information on the front and back of a package is consistent.

Total calorie counts for the container will be displayed on the beverage selection buttons of vending machines controlled by the companies. Calorie counts will also be shown prominently on fountain beverage dispensers controlled by the companies.

The beverage association said its members are also committing to continue reducing the beverage calories in the marketplace through innovation, smaller portion sizes and further marketing of their low-calorie beverages. The Coca-Cola Co., Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo, Nestlé Waters North America and Sunny Delight are among ABA members

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