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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 2, February 2011, Posted On: 2/11/2011

Beverage Industry Transitions To Front-Of-Pack Labels

Emily Jed
American Beverage Association, front-of-pack labels, calorie labels, Clear on Calories alliance, Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Sunny Delight Beverages, Nestlé Waters North America, Cott Beverages and Honest Tea, Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!"

WASHINGTON -- The American Beverage Association reported that calorie labels are making their way onto the front of many beverage containers as the nation's leading beverage companies set the "Clear on Calories" initiative into motion.

Participating companies have committed to adding the new calorie labels to the front of every can, bottle and pack they produce – and displaying the total calories per container on all beverages 20 fl.oz. or smaller. The Clear on Calories alliance includes Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Sunny Delight Beverages, Nestlé Waters North America, Cott Beverages and Honest Tea.

The labels began appearing on some beverages last fall and beverage makers expect to have them on the front of all of their major brands and more than half their product volume by June. All brands and packages should bear the labels by early 2012.

On company-operated vending machines, the beverage companies have committed to displaying total calories per container on selection buttons, or when infeasible, in close proximity to the specific selection. On company-owned fountain equipment, calories will also be displayed prominently.

Since new federal regulations were proposed after the Clear on Calories commitment was announced, ABA said the beverage companies are "working within the regulatory process" in order to label vending machines and fountain equipment to ensure regulatory compliance.

The voluntary calorie-labeling initiative was announced last year in support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign to end childhood obesity in a generation.

The manufacturers developed the label last year and tested it with consumers to make sure it provided clear and easy-to-use information they could use to make informed choices when buying a beverage. ABA said the industry worked with the White House and its agencies throughout the label-development process and remains in contact with the administration throughout implementation of the initiative.

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