DPS looks to cut the calories

DPS looks to cut the calories

Dr Pepper Snapple Group has said it will focus innovation on reduced calorie drinks and smaller pack sizes to reflect growing demand for healthier soft drinks in North America.

At least 50% of Dr Pepper Snapple's (DPSG) innovation projects over the next five years will be focused on reducing calories, offering smaller sizes and improving nutrition, the firm said yesterday (7 June).

DPSG recently launched Mott's Medleys, a juice with two fruit and vegetable servings in an 8oz portion.

The firm's focus reflects consumer demand for healthier soft drinks and also growing pressure on the industry from authorities and campaign groups.

Some analysts have said that DPSG's relatively small non-carbonated soft drinks portfolio could stifle its prospects over the longer term.

Analyst group Stifel Nicolaus yesterday said that the prospect of a 'fat tax' on full sugar soft drinks in the US was a "fundamental risk" for DPSG's growth.
  
The group's commitment to health and wellbeing was stated in its Corporate Social Responsibility report.

The firm also outlined a range of environmental pledges for the next five years. These include reducing water usage in manufacturing by 10%, replacing 60,000 vending machines with more energy-efficient coolers, recycling 80% of solid waste in manufacturing and increasing the firm's use of recycled plastic for bottles. All targets are set against 2009 consumption levels.

DPSG's CEO, Larry Young, said: "Setting and achieving long-term goals to improve our environmental and social performance is a vital part of achieving sustainable growth, because these goals reflect the best interests of the people who make, sell, buy, invest in, and enjoy our brands every day."

Shares in DPS slipped by nearly 2% yesterday after it emerged that the company would receive a lower windfall than expected from The Coca-Cola Co's deal to acquire Coca-Cola Enterprises in North America.