Students abenefit from world-leading agreement

A world-leading agreement between New Zealand Government and beverage industry leaders, Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand (CCANZ) and Frucor Beverages, has seen the removal of an estimated 52.8kgs of sugar from the diet of every kiwi kid since its introduction in 2009.

A world-leading agreement between New Zealand Government and beverage industry leaders, Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand (CCANZ) and Frucor Beverages, has seen the removal of an estimated 52.8kgs of sugar from the diet of every kiwi kid since its introduction in 2009.

The Voluntary Schools Beverage Agreement (VSA) has seen both companies completely withdraw the direct supply of full sugar carbonated soft drinks and full sugar energy drinks from all New Zealand schools.

The agreement was part of proactive efforts by both companies six years ago to respond to the mounting issue of obesity in New Zealand.

Frucor Beverages CEO, Mark Callaghan, says this voluntary agreement shows what can be accomplished when industry and Government work collaboratively. “By working together, listening and responding to the needs of our consumers we can make wide- ranging changes that have a significant and positive impact in the community.”

Coca-Cola Amatil Managing Director Chris Litchfield adds “Both Frucor and CCANZ are proud of the progress that has been made and we are continuing the journey through other partnerships, for example we are both members of the Heart Foundation’s Fuelled4Life programme, where education, health and food industry sectors work together to make it easier for our kids to make healthier choices.”

Alongside the VSA, both companies have made significant business commitments to provide more beverage choices for consumers, a wider selection of low kilojoule options and clear product labeling to help consumers make informed decisions and reinforce the message that all calories count.

The 2002 National Children’s Nutrition Survey found that 32 percent of daily energy intake was consumed by children during school hours.  Making healthier drinks readily available within schools encourages students to make healthy choices and significantly contributes to improved nutrition.

Coca-Cola Amatil Managing Director, Chris Litchfield, says the industry led Voluntary Schools Agreement is having a positive impact on students throughout New Zealand. “Withdrawing sugar sweetened carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks from schools and providing students with lower calorie alternatives and more information, means students are making better decisions around their health and the products they consume.”

“Obesity is an issue both in New Zealand, and globally, and overcoming it is going to take the collective efforts of a range of organisations and leaders across a number of initiatives. This is just one of many efforts our respective companies are undertaking as we are committed to being part of the solution.“

Mark Callaghan adds “The VSA demonstrates that real results can be achieved with a collaborative approach and both Frucor and Coca-Cola Amatil are committed to working together and playing a part in that change.”

Notes to editor:

The VSA underpins wider activity by Frucor Beverages and Coca-Cola New Zealand to respond to the varying needs of consumers.  The VSA ensures no direct sales from either Frucor or Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand of full sugar carbonated soft drinks or energy drinks to New Zealand schools.

Both companies are members of the Fuelled 4Life schools programme run by Ministry of Health and the Heart Foundation. The programme involves working with education, health and food industry sectors to make it easier to have healthier food in schools. All schools signed up to the programme will only have access to Frucor and Coca-Cola beverages that meet the programmes criteria.

Coca- Cola specific

In July 2013, Coca-Cola New Zealand announced four major business commitments in their bid to join the front line in the fight against obesity. The public commitments offer more choices, smaller portion sizes, more nutritional information and a pledge to help get kiwis active. They are already seeing positive results.

Results to date include:

  • The launch of a Move60 programme, which aims to improve physical activity levels, with an ambitious goal of getting 100,000 Kiwi teens active for 60 minutes a day by 2020.
  • The launch of several low and no kilojoule beverages, alongside smaller pack sizes. One quarter of Coca-Cola’s entire portfolio is now a low or no kilojoule drink option.
  • Coca Cola’s portfolio now includes more than 50 low- and no-kilojoule beverages.  Recent introductions include Deep Spring Naturals, Fuze Tea, Vitamin Water (sweetened by natural sweetener ‘Stevia’), Sprite Zero, and Powerade Zero.
  • The introduction of smaller 300mL bottles and our 250mL multi-packs.
  • Providing more information for consumers- Coca-Cola was one of the first in the industry to introduce front-of-package kilojoule information (%Daily Intake thumbnail), back in 2007.  The company is now extending its efforts, with over 5000 vending machines fitted with nutrition information labels by the end of 2014.

Frucor Beverages specific

Frucor is working hard to make drinks better and we are always looking for ways to do this. Frucor has had a long engagement with schools through several partnerships including Fuelled4Life and the Life Education Trust where we have helped thousands of children learn to make positive choices about their health, nutrition and wellbeing.

  • Frucor has been working alongside school canteen managers, teachers and public health dietitians since 2003 and has been fully committed to supporting a number of DHB and Ministry of Health healthier food and beverage initiatives in schools.
  • Frucor’s new product innovation programme reflects our commitment to meeting changing consumer needs and has led us to be one of the first beverage companies in New Zealand to use Stevia – a natural plant-derived sweetener.
  • Frucor is continuing to innovate to help consumers reduce the amount of sugar in their  diets with an expanding range of no/low sugar drinks and smaller pack choices across their iconic brands (Just Juice, h2go, V, Mizone, Pepsi and NZ Natural)  Frucor has also introduced better consumer labeling with all drinks displaying percentage daily intake information.
  • Healthier beverage introductions include: h2go zero with Stevia, Just Juice with 50% sugar, Mizone Sportswater with 50% less sugar than full sugar sports drinks. A range of products developed specifically around the national nutrition guidelines for young people – including Just Juice Splash with 50% spring water and Just Juice with 40% Veges.
  • Frucor worked in collaboration with public health professionals to develop juice dilution recommendations for young children that are consistent with pediatric nutrition and dental health guidelines. These on-pack guidelines have been adopted as best practice by the New Zealand Juice and Beverage Association nationwide.