Sugar, calorie content of soft drinks almost halved in Hungary

Drinks

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As a result of the voluntary commitments of the member companies of the Hungarian Mineral Water, Fruit Juice and Soft Drinks Association, the average sugar and calorie content of Hungarian soft drinks and juices has decreased by 43% between 2010 and 2020, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

With recipe changes and the introduction of new, innovative products, the ratio of low-calorie and zero-calorie beverages has increased from 23% to 57% within the non-alcoholic beverage category over the past 10 years, the association says.

The Hungarian Mineral Water, Fruit Juice and Soft Drinks Association was the first and is still the only association in the Hungarian FMCG sector to initiate a voluntary sugar and calorie reduction scheme. Soft drink companies aspired a goal to halve the average sugar and calorie content of non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, juices, iced teas) sold in Hungary by the end of 2020 compared to 2010.

Over the last decade companies significantly reformulated their recipes, introduced new, innovative products, and expanded the proportion of low-calorie and zero-calorie products in their portfolio. In addition, companies encourage health-conscious liquid consumption through marketing activities so that more and more people would choose low-energy or calorie-free drinks.

As a result of the association's measures carried out in the last 10 years:
Between 2010 and 2020, the average sugar and calorie content/100 milliliters of products sold decreased by 43%.
In 2010, the average calorie content of non-alcoholic beverages/100 milliliters was 40 calories, today it is only 22.8 calories.
Between 2010 and 2020, the proportion of low-calorie (maximum of 20 calories per 100 milliliters) and zero-calorie products within the non-alcoholic beverages category increased from 23% to 57%.
Soft drinks now account for only 2-3% of the total average energy (calorie) intake in Hungary.

"The voluntary commitments made by the Hungarian Mineral Water, Fruit Juice and Soft Drinks Association represent a remarkable long-term goal. The dedication and hard work of the association and the local and global soft drink companies show a great example for all of us. Implementation of new, innovative technologies and continuous product development significantly strengthened the competitiveness of the Hungarian food industry," comments István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture.

"Our association and our members are fully aware of their responsibility for the quality of their products and the health of their consumers. With this in mind, we contribute to the common public health goals by constant product innovation, responsible marketing, and awareness-raising among consumers”, adds Géza Miklósvári, president of the Hungarian Mineral Water, Fruit Juice and Soft Drink Association.

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