Sugar-free drinks on the rise

Sugar-free drinks on the rise

More and more people are taking on the anti-sugar message, judging by the sales of low-calorie drinks.

The fizzy drinks industry says it's selling more low- and no-calorie drinks.

New Zealanders rank 11th in the world for soft drink consumption, knocking back 640 million litres a year. But the new figures show the war on sugar is changing consumer demand.

"They want bigger choice, more choice," says food writer Kerry Tyack. "They want lower sugar drinks and the industry has to accommodate that request."

Industry bosses met with anti-sugar campaigners at a symposium in south Auckland today. They say consumption of sugary drinks is declining and the focus is on healthier alternatives.

Zero- and low-calorie beverages have seen an 11 percent increase in the past year, now making up one in three soft drinks.

But is it enough? Anti-sugar campaigners want sugary drinks banned altogether by 2025.

With sugary drinks still dominating the vast majority of the market, it's not likely to happen within the next 10 years.

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