Coke, Tesco, Kraft sign up to calorie reduction pledge

Coca-Cola: calorie reduction pledge
Coca-Cola: calorie reduction pledge

The big four supermarkets and a raft of major food companies have signed up to the Department of Health Responsibility Deal, which aims to cut 5bn calories from the nation's daily diet.

The plan, first revealed by Marketing, is inspired by a similar scheme in the US spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Coca-Cola GB, Kerry Foods, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, PepsiCo, Premier Foods, Unilever, Beefeater (Whitbread) and Subway each made commitments to cut the calories of their products.

The commitments include:

  • Asda will develop a new reduced-calorie brand across a range of products that will contain at least 30% fewer calories than its core Chosen By You brand
  • Coca-Cola GB will reduce the calories in some of its soft drinks brands by at least 30% by 2014. The company has pledged to increase the marketing budget for its no calorie and zero sugar colas - Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero - by 25% by the end of 2014
  • Mars will cap the calories of its chocolate items to 250 calories per portion by the end of 2013
  • Morrisons will launch a range of healthier products developed by its chefs and nutritionists. More than 300 lines will be introduced, including low calorie and high fibre offerings. Key to this range will be an easy to read and understand labelling system
  • Premier Foods, manufacturer of brands including Hovis and Mr Kipling, will reduce calories in one third of its sales by the end of 2014 and at least 30% of new products will be lower calorie choices
  • Subway has committed to offer five out of its nine Low Fat Range Subs, each with fewer than 370 calories, as part of its £3 lunch offer

Tesco is on track to remove 1.8bn calories from its soft drinks, will expand its Eat, Live and Enjoy range of low-calorie meals and is making it easier for shoppers to spot low-calorie options through its "Green Ping" labels.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "This pledge is just the start of what must be a bigger, broader commitment from the food industry.  But it is a great step in the right direction and will help million of us eat and drink fewer calories."

However Charlie Powell, campaigns director for lobby group the Children's Food Campaign, dismissed the plan as "an industry game of smoke and mirrors".

"We note that the calorie reduction examples only cover small proportions of companies' products and that big names such as McDonald's, Burger King and KFC are conspicuously missing. Without an end to junk food marketing promotions, these token gestures become totally irrelevant," he concluded.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug