COCA-COLA is going head-to-head with health campaigners who blame fizzy drinks for weight problems by repositioning itself as “part of the solution to the global problem of obesity”.
In February, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges – representing the UK’s 220,000 doctors – called for a 20% rise in the cost of sugary drinks.
Fighting back, last month Coca-Cola ran ads reminding viewers that all calories, even those in cans of Coke, count. The brand’s next moves will be to introduce a new, reduced-calorie version of Sprite, cement an ongoing relationship with the fitness charity StreetGames and run an ad campaign for Coke Zero.
The slimline version of Sprite, launched last month, contains 30% fewer calories than the old recipe. It will replace the current Sprite.
The Coca-Cola Zero campaign, starting this month, will hammer home the brand’s “great Coke taste, zero sugar, no calorie” message. Over 45% of the Coca-Cola sold in the UK is Coca-Cola Zero or Diet Coke.
As part of its post-Olympics legacy commitment, the company will continue to work with StreetGames until 2015. The company promised “a lasting legacy of grassroots sports participation following the London 2012 Olympic Games”.
Since 2010, Coca-Cola Great Britain’s partnership with StreetGames has helped more than 110,000 young people from some of the most disadvantaged areas in the country gain access to local sports.
James Quincey, Coca-Cola’s European president said: “Obesity is a serious problem and I am determined we will take more actions in Europe to help address it.”
The actions build on our earlier efforts and are part of a long-term commitment.”