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Canadian beverage companies are changing the calorie landscape for consumers, making labels easier to read by moving the calories from the back of the package to the front and providing full serving details. Key to the initiative is an understanding of Canadians need for clear, consistent and more user friendly caloric information and the government's desire to take meaningful steps to promote healthy active lifestyles which includes making informed beverage choices.
"Clear on Calories puts the calorie count on the front of the beverage label to help consumers make informed choices," said Colin Hansen, BC Minister of Health Services. "The new industry-led commitment supports our efforts in B.C. to help British Columbians make the informed choice the easier choice, while it also shows how companies and governments can work together to benefit all Canadians."
The Clear on Calories initiative will provide clear and consistent disclosure of caloric information on front of pack, on vending machines and on fountain beverage dispensers. The information will be prominently displayed using a standardized label format in the following ways:
- Product Labels:
- All single serve beverage containers, up to and including 591 ml, will display the total calorie count on the front of all containers,
- Multi-serve packaging for beverages, larger than 591 ml, will be labelled per 355 ml serving except for 100% juices, juice beverages, sports drinks and bottled water as per Health Canada's requirements,
- Juices and fruit drinks will be labelled per 250 ml serving size,
- Sports drinks and bottled waters greater than 750 mL will be considered multi-serve and will be labelled per 500 ml serving size.
- Company-controlled Vending Machines:
- Total calorie counts per container will be displayed on selection buttons (or when infeasible, in close proximity).
- Company-controlled Fountain Equipment:
- For consumer facing fountain dispensers, calorie counts will be displayed prominently using a 355 ml serving size for carbonated soft drinks and other beverages, 500 ml serving size for sports drinks and 250 ml for juices and fruit drinks.
The beverage industry, whose leading companies include Canada Dry Mott's, Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada, Cott Beverages Canada, Nestle Waters Canada and PepsiCo Beverages Canada, is 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 Canadian beverage sector has a long track record of promoting a balanced healthy lifestyle and for helping parents make informed beverage decisions for their family," said Justin Sherwood, President of the Canadian Beverage Association. "We feel that Clear on Calories builds on the Industry Guidelines for the Sale of Beverages in Schools which removed full-calorie soft drinks from schools across the country and the sector's product innovations that has already significantly reduced the amount of calories in the marketplace."
Maintaining a healthy weight requires balancing calories taken in to calories used throughout the day. Clear on Calories makes it easier for individuals and families to understand caloric intake from beverages and make informed purchasing decisions. The new packaging labels will begin appearing on store shelves beginning in mid 2011, followed by vending and fountain drink dispensers and will be completed by the end of 2013.
The Canadian Beverage Association is the national trade association representing the broad spectrum of brands and companies that manufacture and distribute the majority of non-alcoholic liquid refreshment beverages consumed in Canada.
For more information, contact:
Senior Director, Communications
Canadian Beverage Association
Work: (416) 362-2424