Power Brands Review
In 2010, 16 major food and beverage companies, led by giants such as The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo., The Kellogg Company, Nestlé USA, General Mills Inc., and Kraft Food Group Inc. signed an agreement to reduce the number of calories in the marketplace. Darin Ezra, a beverage specialist at Power Brands Consulting, explains that the companies formed together the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, which signed on to Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonprofit run by First Lady Michelle Obama. The companies committed to reduce the number of calories in the market by 1.5 trillion, before 2015.
Ezra noted that the top food and beverage companies were repeatedly accused as being one of the leading causes of obesity in the United States. The Power Brands consultant speculates that by signing this agreement the companies managed to invalidate those claims and positioned themselves as part of the solution. In order to achieve the required milestone, the participant companies increased the number of zero- and low-calorie products in their portfolio, adjusted their recipes and provided more portion-controlled products. Furthermore, the majority of the companies, including PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Co, heavily marketed low- and zero-calorie products and accentuated the importance of healthier lifestyles in their advertisement.
At the end of May, the founding companies of Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) held a press conference in Washington D.C. to announce they achieved their goal three years before their initial goal. Alongside the companies at the press conference were representatives of the White House, a senior scientist at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tracy Orleans, and Dan Glickman, the former U.S. secretary of agriculture. Additionally, the foundation had a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post newspaper. The ad, signed by the CEO of PepsiCo., Indra Nooyi, recognized the responsibility that food and beverage companies have in helping their customers maintain a healthy diet and mentioned the positive impact of their actions. On top of that, the ad noted that the participating companies are always trying to offer their customers choicex and mentioned that they are continuing towards progress with the help of non-profit companies and the public.
Darin Ezra also points out that signing the agreement was beneficial for the companies. Ezra mentions a report by The Hudson Institute made for HWCF, which states that the total sales of low-calorie beverages among the 16 companies increased by $1.25 billion, while traditional high-calorie beverages increased only by $300 million. The Power Brands beverage specialist also mentioned that another report, expected this fall, by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will evaluate the companies’ progress.