Caloric intake from beverages down in the US in 2020

Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

Caloric intake from beverages down in the US in 2020

People in the US reduced the amount of sugar and calories that they consume through soft drinks in 2020, according to an independent evaluation conducted by Keybridge on behalf of Healthier Generation and American Beverage.

The drop in sugar intake came about as American beverage companies continue their commitment to reduce the amount of sugar in their beverages as part of the Beverage Calories Initiative, which is an effort in the US to reduce calories in drinks by 20%. There has been a drop of 10% in caloric intake from beverages since 2014 when the initiative launched, with 1.5 trillion fewer calories being consumed since then.

Low- and no-sugar beverage options are driving factors behind the drop, accounting for over half of beverages sold. An increased range of products is being offered in low and no-sugar options too.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Calories per person from soda declined by 5.5% in 2020, for a total reduction of 11.8% since 2014.
  • A quarter (24.8%) of sports drinks consumed are now low- and no-sugar, up from 10.4% in 2017.
  • Beverage companies have introduced numerous new brands of sparkling waters and flavoured waters that have helped spur a 36.6% increase in per person volumes of water in six years’ time.
  • The decrease in beverage calories per person is not caused by a decrease in overall beverage consumption. The volume of total beverages people purchased has risen every year since 2014 for a total increase of 8.9% through 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the situation, with a decreased amount of drinks being sold thanks to stay-at-home orders and consumers not eating at restaurants and movie theatres. On the other hand, packaged beverage sales were up. In general, consumers continued to consume soft drinks with lower calories in this period.

The 2020 national report is available at and

Image credit: © Resnick

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