The Union of European Soft Drinks Associations (UNESDA) has revealed its enhanced health and nutrition targets to help Europeans manage their intake of added sugars from soft drinks with a pledge to reduce sugar by a further 10% by 2025. The new targets will represent a 33% overall reduction in average added sugars over the last two decades, building on past sugar reduction milestones that the industry achieved from 2015 to 2019 (14.6% reduction on average) and from 2000 to 2015 (13.3% reduction on average).
Nicholas Hodac, Director-General of UNESDA, says these new goals are “very ambitious,” and the soft drinks industry will accelerate the speed and scale of its sugar reductions. “However, we are very confident that we will deliver on our new pledge. We will do so through increasing our efforts on the reformulation of existing products and innovation of new products, including using low-calorie sweeteners.”
Further, UNESDA will introduce products in smaller pack sizes to support portion control and continue to invest in the promotion of no- and low-sugar products to drive consumer choice toward healthier products. The European Association of Sugar Manufacturers, CEFS, stands behind the objective of the Farm to Fork Strategy.
Currently, no soft drinks are advertised anywhere in Europe to children younger than 12 years old, where the audience consists of more than 35% of this age group. However, taste is a key driver of consumer preference, and it is important to raise the acceptance of beverages with lower sweetness. Kerry’s solutions, such as TasteSense Sweet, address side effects from sweeteners and enhance mouthfeel attributes while delivering balanced taste and sweetness from interactions with taste receptors. Manufacturers adopt various strategies in response: reformulate their main brand along healthier lines or keep the original but develop an alternative offering a healthier option, for instance, 30% fewer sugars. FoodIngredientsFirst