American Beverage Association surpasses commitment to school beverage guidelines

The American Beverage Association’s commitment to school beverage guidelines has exceeded expectations, according to the association’s second yearly report.

The association aimed to have 75 percent of school beverage contracts in compliance with the School Beverage Guidelines crafted by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation by the start of the 2008-2009 school year. Now, an estimated 79 percent of school beverage contracts comply with the guidelines, which strictly limit the amount of calories beverages sold in schools may contain.

The report also showed that overall beverage shipments to schools fell by 43 percent from 2004 to the present day. Juice drinks lost the most, with a 72 percent reduction in volume, followed by full-calorie CSDs, which dropped 65 percent. Waters proved to be the only category that increased its volume, growing 18 percent.

Waters now represent a 26 percent share of the beverage mix sold in high schools, up from 13 percent in 2004 and 22 percent in the 2006-2007 school year. That gives them a slightly-higher share than full calorie CSDs, which fell from a 44 percent share in 2004 to a 32 percent share in 2006-007 and a 26 percent share presently. Regular and low-calorie sports drinks have also demonstrated significant gains.