AUSTRALIA – Coca-Cola South Pacific and Coca-Cola Amatil will reduce the sugar content in their non-alcoholic portfolio of beverages by 20% by 2025, as part of an industry-wide pledge revealed by the Australian Beverages Council (ABCL) in Canberra.

According to FoodBev, the announcement was made by ABCL chief executive officer Geoff Parker and Australia health minister Greg Hunt.

Coca-Cola said that sweetened beverages presently comprise around 4% of the average Australian’s energy intake.

The move follows a decision made earlier this year by the Australian government to not introduce a tax on sugary soft drinks, despite calls from the Australian Medical Association to tax the beverages “as a matter of priority”.

“We have been part of the Australian community for 80 years and, as people’s tastes and preferences have changed, so have we.

We will increase the pace of change to offer more great-tasting drinks in line with what people want today,” said President of Coca-Cola South Pacific Vamsi Mohan.

“I’m proud to say we already have some runs on the board. We have reduced sugar in 22 of our drinks since 2015, including some of our leading brands like Fanta, Sprite and Powerade.

This builds on our strong track record of new recipes with reduced sugar content such as Coca-Cola No Sugar, as well as smaller pack sizes, clear labelling and information, and our strict policy of not marketing to children.”

Managing director of Coca of-Cola Amatil Alison Watkins added: “This pledge is good news for consumers and further demonstrates our commitment to healthier lifestyles.”

“It builds on our commitment of a 10% reduction in sugar content across our portfolio of sales by 2020.

We’re on track to meet that target and look forward to delivering on today’s pledge as well.”