Manufacturers hope to reverse the damaging effects of publicity linking carbonated drinks and obesity through a new information campaign.
The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA), which counts Coca-Cola, Britvic and Pepsi among its members, is helping to fund work by the Expert Group on Hydration (EGH). Formed last month, the EGH will educate people about the importance of hydration and show how soft drinks can count towards the target of six to eight glasses of fluid a day.
BSDA president Christopher Banks said in the association’s annual report: “The rise in the incidence of obesity, particularly among children, has been a worry for us all. A worry because of the long-term implications for the nation’s health, and a worry because the soft drinks
industry is wrongly blamed.”
The EGH is a panel of scientists and medical experts which will carry out research, issue press releases and rebut myths about hydration. It has also launched a website at
Banks said the industry was at the forefront of innovation to meet increasing demand for healthy products, such as diet, low calorie and no added sugar.
While consumption of soft drinks has risen by 128% in 20 years, the added sugar content of those drinks has barely increased, said the BSDA, which is also talking to government and the EU over nutrition labelling and restricting promotions to children.
A shampoo whose launch was delayed following the Boxing Day tsumani is finally to make it to the shelves - albeit under a new name.
Procter & Gamble’s Head & Shoulders Ocean Spa was originally branded Ocean Energy and should have been launched at the start of the year. But the company decided in February to delay marketing the shampoo because of possible connotations with the Asian disaster.
Ocean Spa contains Dead Sea salt and extracts of seaweed and kelp and will be available from August.
Procter & Gamble is backing it with a £5m spend on TV and print advertising.
Claire Hu
Cruel sea delays launch