Major food brands across the UK are joining forces to fight against obesity by reducing the calorie content in their products. Among the leading brands are food retailers Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Also part of the scheme are Coca-Cola Great Britain, Mars, Nestle, and PepsiCo who have made pledges to reduce calories as part of the industry’s Responsibility Deal with the government. Will this benefit the brands in the long run?
According to a report from the Guardian this week, Asda has pledged develop a new reduced-calorie brand that will contain at least 30% fewer calories than it’s Chosen By You brand. This is a good opportunity to ramp up on Asda’s corporate social responsibility and even better for Asda, the launch of this new brand will entice new customers as well as redirecting current customers.
Coca-Cola have pledged to cut the calories in some of their soft drinks at least 30% by 2014 while Mars will cap the number of calories in its chocolate portions to 250 calories by the end of 2013. Do the timescales on these pledges seem somewhat optimistic…?
According to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, it is an ambitious challenge for the nation as a whole but the Responsibility Deal has made a positive start. Do we think that retailers who have not signed up will receive bad press? As suspected, reports this week berate the companies who have not secured the deal including McDonald’s and KFC who have perhaps realized that making false promises is not a good idea and that they should just stick to what they know!
In the end it is a question of businesses jumping on the calorie reduction band wagon – But how many will do so?