Some people don’t realise how much sugar there is in Coca-Cola,’ admits the company’s PRESIDENT – as it emerges a large cinema serving contains 44 teaspoons of sugar
- European president James Quincey also conceded that ‘things need to change’ and servings had to reduce in size
- But argued that a regular can of the drink – which contains six teaspoons of sugar – was similar in calories to ‘a cappuccino or a half a croissant’
- One 500ml bottle is more than recommended daily amount of added sugar
The European president of Coca-Cola has admitted that some customers ‘don’t realise’ how much sugar is in the company’s drinks.
Speaking on Newsnight, James Quincey also conceded that ‘things need to change’ and servings had to reduce in size.
The admission came after Jeremy Paxman took him to task on the size of servings available in cinemas – some of which contain a staggering 44 teaspoons of sugar.
When asked by Mr Paxman what good Coca-Cola did its consumers, Mr Quincey said: ‘It does have some sugar in it… it has energy, but is it a necessity? No it’s not. But millions of people enjoy it as part of their diet across the UK.’
Mr Quincey also pointed put that a regular can of the drink – which contains 35g or six teaspoons of sugar – was similar in calories to ‘a cappuccino or a half a croissant’.
He stressed that the company was working hard to promote the calorie and sugar content of its products so that consumers could make informed choices.
But when asked by Mr Paxman if he thought people had any idea how much sugar is in small and large servings of Coke at the cinema, he was forced to reply: ‘I think maybe they don’t’,
He conceded: ‘Things need to change and the bigger cups need to come down,’ he said.
A ‘small’ cinema serving is said to contain a 23 teaspoons on sugar, while a large contains 44 – ‘each to be consumed in a single sitting,’ Mr Paxman added.
Mr Quincey argued that the company wasn’t trying to hide the information and was ‘focused on
getting the information out there’.
‘Then they can make choices and if they don’t want to buy one… clearly [these sizes] won’t be for everyone,’ he added.
But he agreed that the ‘bigger cups need to come down’ and there may be ‘smaller packages’.
‘I don’t think we are saying that the world can’t change and doesn’t need to move on – we do need to recognise that things need to change,’ he said.
Supersize: A ‘small’ cinema serving is said to contain a 23 teaspoons on sugar, while a large contains 44 – ‘each to be consumed in a single sitting,’ Mr Paxman told Mr Quincey (right)
UK guidelines recommend that ‘added’ sugars – those used to sweeten food, fizzy drinks, honeys, syrups and fruit juices – shouldn’t make up more than 10 per cent of the total energy we get from food.
This is around 50g of sugar a day, equivalent to 10 cubes of sugar for adults and older children, and nine for five to ten-year-olds.
But just one 500ml bottle of Coke will send you over this limit, with 10.5 cubes.
Earlier this year Coca-Cola, the parent company of Sprite, announced that the fizzy lemon and lime flavoured drink was to be scrapped in favour of a lower-calorie version that uses a ‘natural’ sweetener, Stevia.
The new formulation contains 30 per cent fewer calories. The drink was altered as part of Coca-Cola’s anti-obesity drive and followed a call by the government to address the issue.
UK guidelines recommend that ‘added’ sugars – those used to sweeten food, fizzy drinks, honeys, syrups and fruit juices – shouldn’t make up more than 10 per cent of the total energy we get from food. But just one 500ml bottle of Coke will send you over this limit, with 10.5 cubes
Coca-Cola also began airing anti-obesity TV ads this year to ‘remind’ viewers that all calories count in managing weight, including those in Coca-Cola’s products.
Aside from Sprite, the company also said to be exploring more diet options.
Diet drinks already make up nearly half of Coca-Cola’s UK sales, with Diet Coke and Coke Zero accounting for 45 per cent of sales.
At the Sprite announcement the company said that since 2007, it had reduced the calorie content of Fanta Orange by 30 per cent, Oasis by 35 per cent and Lilt by 56 per cent.
It also plans to reduce the average calories per litre in sparkling soft drinks by five per cent by the end of 2014.
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