According to the new CEO of Coca-Cola Co., James Quincey, the company will support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for recommended daily sugar consumption limits. Quincey said that the famous brand is now focusing on becoming a “total beverage company” with offerings like bottled water and tea seeing increased sales.
In a recent industry conference held in Florida, the CEO spoke about how he felt the company had “outgrown” the iconic cola beverage. With more and more public health officials touting the evils of added sugars, Coca-Cola’s new focus on other beverages makes sense.
The WHO recommends that sugars constitute less than 10 percent of a person’s total daily energy intake. Their new guidelines – updated in 2015 – say that reducing sugar to less than 5 percent could also have additional health benefits for adults and children.
“We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” said Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of WHO’s Department of Nutrition for Health and Development. “Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases.”
For its part, Coke has been promoting their smaller cans and bottles which satisfy consumer demand for the cola, while minimizing added sugars intake. According to Coca-Cola, these smaller portion sizes now account for approximately 15 percent of its North American carbonated drink sales.
The company has also said it’s considering reformulating some drinks to reduce its global “sugar footprint.” Last year, beverage competitor PepsiCo announced their intention to reduce sugar in over 60 percent of its soft drinks.