AUSTRALIA: Coca Cola to cut sugar content 10% over next two years

Published: 05/17/2018, 1:12:36 PM

Coca-Cola has announced it will change its recipes to cut sugar content in its Australia and New Zealand products, according to Australia's Daily Mail newspaper.

The announcement comes amid growing concern over the amount of sugar consumption in many countries, with some implementing a sugar tax.

The Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil Alison Watkins said on Wednesday at the company's annual general meeting that it was attempting to cut the sugar levels in products sold in the region by 10% by the year 2020.

The company has already reformulated 22 products since 2015 either by introducing reduced or no-sugar versions of its major brands or by altering the recipes of its original products.

'We're doing it either just by making things less sweet over time, gradually, or by using stevia, which is a naturally derived sweetener, to replace some of the sugar,' Watkins said on Wednesday.

It follows the lead of other companies which have also pledged to lower sugar in their products such as Nestle, Tesco, Pepsi, and Kellogg's.

In Australia and New Zealand Coca Cola Amatil, which is about one-third owned by the Coca-Cola Company, bottles and sells Coke brands.

In the past two years it has lowered the sugar in Sprite by 26%, Lift by 23%, 'Blue' Powerade by 20%, and Deep Springs drinks by 26%, while also working on a low sugar recipe for Fanta.

Soft drinks are the number one culprit for excessive sugar consumption and a prime target for a sugar tax designed to promote a healthier diet.

Many countries including the UK, Ireland, and Mexico will have the sugar tax in place later this year.

Watkins said that the decision was to meet consumer demand rather than prepare for the possibility of any sugar tax.

'Obviously taking these actions, if we do end up in a scenario of a sugar tax we'll be in a better place anyway, but that's not what's driving us at the moment,' she said.