In response to criticism over the high-sugar and high-calorie content of their products, soft drink makers have agreed to display calorie counts on their soda machines. The effort will begin in Chicago and San Antonio in 2013.
Industry leader Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) are partnering with those cities in an effort to hold off anti-soda efforts like the one currently under way in New York City and under consideration in Cambridge, Mass., according to The Wall Street Journal. New York recently passed a ban keeping sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from being served at restaurants, food carts, movie theaters and other venues.
The partnership with San Antonio and Chicago will feature displays encouraging consumers to try lower-calorie beverages. Calorie labels also will be applied to machines in municipal buildings. Following the two-city rollout, other cities will receive the same treatment. The total conversion is expected to take several years.
The move comes at a time of heightened public interest in the awareness of health impacts of food choices. Even fast-food giant McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) is now displaying calories counts on its menu boards.