Media Contact:
Annie Mattix
O: 312-768-4715 M: 414-551-1738

Beverage Industry Celebrates Milestone in Reducing Consumption of Beverage Calories

Industry’s longtime initiative led to fourth consecutive year of beverage calorie reduction

(Chicago, IL – October 18th, 2021) – The latest evaluation of the non-alcoholic beverage industry’s commitment to reduce the sugar consumers get from beverages shows that consumption of full-calorie beverages declined in 2020 for the fourth consecutive year. Independent evaluator Keybridge LLC released its annual progress report today on the Beverage Calories Initiative (BCI) shows a consumer shift towards low- and zero-sugar beverages, leading to the elimination of 1.5 trillion calories in the U.S. diet since 2014.

“For years, the beverage industry has fought to help consumers lead nutritious, balanced lifestyles, and I am proud of the tremendous progress made thus far,” said Rob Nash, Executive Director of the Illinois Beverage Association. “To see our industry’s hard work and efforts pay off in such a significant, direct way is inspiring, and I look forward to continuing to build upon our strong momentum to reach our 2025 goal.”

According to the evaluation on the BCI, a nationwide effort by American Beverage, The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo to reduce the calories consumed from beverages per person by 20% nationally by 2025. According to the evaluation’s findings, beverage calories per person have decreased 10% since the 2014 launch of BCI, marking the official halfway point to the industry’s goal.

Additional key findings of the analysis include:

  • Average beverage calorie consumption has decreased from 202.8 calories per person per day in 2014 to 182.6 in 2020.

  • Volume sales per person of low-and zero-sugar beverages has grown considerably, as low- and zero-sugar beverages together increased from 50.1% of beverage volume sales in 2014 to 58.7% of volume sales in 2020.

  • 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 flavored 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.

COVID-19 also affected how consumers bought their beverages, as purchases of beverages (and food) significantly declined at restaurants, theaters, and other venues that primarily represent 40% of total beverage volumes and calories and where sugary beverages are often present. Consequently, beverage calories in those venues decreased 15.7 calories per person per day nationally.

Packaged beverages saw the opposite effect. From 2014 through 2019, per person calories from beverages sold in grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores, etc. fell steadily. In 2020, that trend was disrupted with an increase of 6.1 calories per person per day nationally.

View the 2020 report on The Alliance for a Healthier Generation website at

# # #


The Illinois Beverage Association is a powerful network of businesses who make and sell the most popular, innovative non-alcoholic beverages of every type in the world, strengthening the Illinois economy through job creation and tax revenue, championing environmental sustainability and building community through partnerships and contributions. For more information, visit