Two years after the Partnership for Healthier America, have calorie counts decreased?
Share Now on:
Some of the country’s biggest food and beverage companies are making strides toward curbing the nation’s obesity epidemic, according to a new report set to be released today.
In 2010, 16 food and beverage companies teamed up with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America with the goal of reducing the number of calories sold by 1.5 trillion by 2015. According to today’s report, they’ve exceeded that goal — and more companies are realizing it doesn’t hurt the bottom line, either. Turns out there is a lot of money in those 100-calorie packs of cookies and tiny soda cans.
“We know that lower calorie sales increased by about $25 billion compared to less than $300 million for higher calorie products,” says Lisa Gable, president of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. The group includes food and beverage companies that pledged to cut the number of calories sold over five years. Gable says it worked, because people are more health-conscious.
“The consumer is asking for these products, and they are stepping up and meeting the consumer demand,” she says.
Companies are meeting that demand in lots of ways, like cereal with less sugar. And that new smaller packaging gives companies a chance to toot their own horn about healthier ingredients.
“There’s also a boost that the brand might get from being socially responsible,” says Michael Cohen, who teaches marketing at NYU and did a study on the topic.
A word of caution, though. Fewer calories are good, Cohen says, but Cocoa Puffs are still Cocoa Puffs. And the quality of those calories counts for a lot, too.
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?