The Coca-Cola Company has a long history of stepping up to help to address societal, economic and environmental challenges affecting all of us.  Today such an issue is obesity. We believe we have a role to play and are committed to being part of the solution. That’s why we are announcing four business commitments which will apply everywhere we operate throughout New Zealand.

-          Increasing the availability of our smaller portion sizes.

-          Offering more low-kilojoule beverage options.

-          Providing transparent nutritional information in more places. 

-          Helping get people moving by supporting physical activity programs.

These promises build on a strong foundation that has we have laid in recent years.  We have launched smaller portion sizes, including the 300mL bottles and our 250mL multi-packs.  We’re going to be working to increase their availability.

Our broad portfolio currently includes more than 50 low- and no-kilojoule beverages, highlighted by recent launches such as Powerade Zero and Fuze Tea.  We will continue to develop low-kilojoule alternatives for our beverage range and also continue to work with nutritionists and food scientists on innovative ingredients including all natural, low-kilojoule sweeteners.

We were one of the first in our industry to introduce front-of-package kilojoule information, back in 2007.  And we are working to do more. From 2013 we will begin to place this information on our vending machines.

Lastly, to encourage active healthy living and inspire people to get moving we will be launching a cycling program towards the end of the year. The program is designed to improve physical activity levels by increasing access to bikes and motivating participants to get riding.  We’ll be sharing more details about this programme a bit down the line. 

Obesity is a complex challenge and one for which there is no silver bullet.  But we believe through the collective efforts of business, government and civil society, progress can be made. We’re committed to doing our part and look forward to helping facilitate positive change in our communities.

Paul Fitzgerald is the General Manager of Coca-Cola New Zealand