Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, May 11, 2021

The Bill Clinton-brokered deal to get soda vending machines pulled out of public schools is being lauded as a victory for good nutrition, and a defeat for the sugarwater conglomerates.

In reality, it’s not. And it’s not just because of the caveats to the deal that hold open the possibility of little real reduction of the machines, nor of the exemption of diet sodas.

Because the national trend is toward more consumption of bottled water and other non-carbonated liquids, at the expense of traditional soft drinks, the reduction (or even elimination) of soda options just plays to the shifting market realities. In general, kids are already eschewing Coke and Pepsi in favor of alternate drinks, which will continue to be available at school-sited vending machines.

And the kicker: The leading bottle water and sports drinks brands are owned by — yup — Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo. So the money’s still heading into the same coffers; only the product is changing.

That shouldn’t obscure the positive effects of kicking the liquid-candy habit. But no one’s getting screwed here on a profit-and-loss basis. The companies involved wouldn’t have agreed to this seeming capitulation if they didn’t recognize that they were going to still wind up winning in the end.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/11/2021 10:45pm
Category: Business, Food, Society
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