Coke, Pepsi back 20% drink calorie cut by 2025

The nation’s biggest beverage companies, including Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, say they want to help Americans cut 20 percent of the calories they consume in drinks by 2025, Beverage Digest is reporting.

The pledge, made by Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper Snapple and the American Beverage Association, was announced today at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. The initiative is the brainchild of the beverage industry and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

Soft drink makers have been under intense pressure as health advocates have blamed much of the nation’s expanding waistline on the consumption of sugary soft drinks. Consumers also are drinking fewer sodas — which have been the bread and butter of the non-alcoholic beverage industry for years — choosing instead water, teas and energy drinks.

The big drink manufacturers said the effort to reduce caloric intake from drinks include adding more smaller-sized servings to their lineup, putting greater emphasis on water products and increasing consumer interest in low- or no-calorie drinks, Beverage Digest said. In addition, reduced calorie drinks will play more prominent roles at the end of grocery store aisles and in check-out lanes.