Coca-Cola is getting serious about Canadians’ calorie count.
The soft-drink maker is making the Canadian recipe “slightly less sweet,” which will make it “consistent with the great tasting Coca-Cola enjoyed around the world,” the company said in a statement.
(In other news: Coca-Cola has a Canadian recipe!)
But a slightly sweeter product isn’t the only change: The company is introducing smaller cans (310 mL versus the current 341 mL) and distributing “mini-cans” (222 mL and 237 mL) more widely. The 591-mL plastic bottles will be reduced to 500 mL.
The 500-mL serving will have 8 per cent fewer calories than the old 591-mL version, Coca-Cola says.
“These new initiatives are the latest in Coca-Cola Canada’s efforts to reduce the overall beverage calories in the Canadian diet; and to provide consumers with information and resources to lead active, balanced lifestyles,” the company said in a statement.
The move is widely being seen as a reaction to rising concern about the obesity epidemic that many nutritionists blame partly on sugary drinks.
Coca-Cola last year joined Pepsi-Cola and other soft drink makers in launching a campaign to reduce calories in sugary drinks by a fifth over the next decade.
For the company, battling the perception its products are unhealthy may not be optional: The company has seen its U.S. sales decline by 20 per cent over the past decade, as consumers turned to less-sugary options.
Coca-Cola is also testing out new strategies, beyond reducing calories and drink sizes. For instance, the company has decided to get into milk, and is marketing a “premium” milk brand in the U.S. that promises 50 per cent more protein and 30 per cent more calcium.
No word yet on when that milk brand may come to Canada.
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