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The Malta BPA celebrates the achievement of the UNESDA European pledge to reduce sugar by 10% 11/17/2021

The Malta BPA celebrates the achievement of the UNESDA European pledge to reduce sugar by 10%

In 2017, GSD Marketing Ltd and Simonds Farsons Cisk PLC were the first European soft drinks producers to endorse the UNESDA (Union of EU Soft Drinks Associations) Pledge to reduce the sugar content in their portfolio by 10% by 2020.

We are pleased to announce the achievement of this pledge for the local market, and this further underlines the sector’s collective determination to contribute to healthier and balanced diets in Malta.

At a time of evolving consumer preferences and increasing public health expectations, this achievement represents the Industry’s contribution to making the healthier choice become the easy choice. These Maltese soft drinks producers continue to respond to consumer changing trends and expectations while also playing an important role in supporting wellbeing, as set out by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.4.

The reduction of 10% in sugars was achieved through the reformulation of existing products including the use of low-calorie sweeteners; the introduction of new products with no or reduced sugar and low-calorie sweeteners; increasing the availability of smaller pack sizes to allow portion control and moderation; investing in the promotion of drinks with reduced or no sugar to educate and actively encouraging consumer choice towards low and no calorie products.

“We are a consumer centric business and have always grown by staying close to the needs and wants of our consumers, stakeholders and society at large. We agree that the consumption of too much sugar isn’t good for anyone and want to enable our consumers to better control their intake of added sugar from our beverages. Once again, our actions demonstrate that our industry is committed to take positive actions that will drive the right behaviours and affect societal change. Our combined efforts clearly demonstrate our commitment to action, and I firmly believe that it is now time to achieve critical mass across the entire food and drink chain to deliver positive health outcomes more broadly. We will continue to work with industry peers to drive meaningful initiatives and make the healthier choice the easy choice,’’ said Maria Micallef, Chief Executive Officer, GSD Marketing. Ltd, official bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Company in Malta.

Norman Aquilina, Chief Executive Officer of  Simonds Farsons Cisk plc said, “Taking up the  European’s soft drinks industry pledge, via UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, to reduce the average added sugar content in our portfolio by 10% was something we welcomed, promptly embraced and, now more importantly, delivered. As a responsible market-led organisation, we always have and will continue to listen to our consumers and remain focused on satisfying and addressing evolving preferences and trends. We are fully committed to promoting and encouraging ‘better for you’ choices, and as a company, we are dedicated to addressing excessive sugar consumption through the reformulation of existing products as well as through the promotion of smaller pack sizes and no or lower sugar variants.

Farsons remains committed and is well-positioned to satisfy the increasing demand for low or no sugar variants by continuing to develop its portfolio offering a vast range of products and packages which allow consumers to select those that are relevant and best-suited to their own needs and requirements. Going forward, we will continue to bring innovation and choice to consumers. This applies to both our own brands as well as the PepsiCo portfolio.”