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Beverage variety is key to healthy hydration

Balanced Calorie Initiative is helping drive a boon of healthier choices in the beverage aisle.

With a year of uncertainty behind us, and possibly more on its way, Canadians are looking to get outdoors like never before. With more people out and about, it’s important for convenience stores in every province and territory to continue to stock shelves with lots of beverage options so that Canadians can continue to make choices that are right for them, their active lifestyles, and their families.

With so many options, from delicious sparking waters with a hint of flavour, to refreshing iced teas, hydrating sports drinks, and long-time favourite sodasmost available with varying sweetness and caloriesthere is a refreshing soft drink beverage option for everyone.

The increased options that have emerged in the past few years are, in part, a result of the Balance Calories initiative, launched in 2014 by some of Canada’s most-prominent beverage companies. Even though the beverage sector had seen a reduction of beverage calories between 2004 to 2014[1], companies knew there was more to be done to support Canadians looking for more lower and no-calorie options.

Since the program launched in 2014, there has been a 16% reduction in calories from non-alcoholic beverages across the country. There is no doubt that this result is partially due to stores across Canada providing options that speak to the varied tastes and needs of their customers


The Balance Calories Initiative has also partnered with Conference Board of Canada. The partnership is important to ensure that the reduction is tracked and validated by a third party. Further, it helps to highlight how effective industry and retail can be when they work together toward a common goal, such as providing healthy options to Canadians, and options that suit a wide variety of people.

The Conference Board of Canada’s most recent report, Finding Balance, also shows:

  • Canadian consumers have reduced the calories they take in every day from carbonated soft drinks, enhanced and flavoured packaged water, juices, nectars, and still drinks.

  • This reduction is driven by changes in the marketplace, rather than by declining volumes.

  • Many segments of the beverage industry are increasing the share of low-calorie options they offer, which has helped Canadians reduce the calories they consume.[2]

Canadians are getting fewer calories from non-alcoholic beverages than at any point in the past few decades; a trend which the beverage sector supports and is working to continue. As the warm spring and summer days roll out, Canadians will be looking for cool, refreshing drinks at their local shops. By working together, we can provide access to important hydration options that fit any taste preference or lifestyle.


[1] Data from Statistics Canada shows a 16% reduction in beverage calories between 2004-2014


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