Aaron loves Dr Pepper. It’s his soda of choice, and what he orders when we eat out. So when given the chance to learn more about the company behind Dr Pepper, I figured why not?
I was surprised to learn just how many beverages the Dr Pepper Snapple Group encompasses. They are the people behind more than 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, teas, juices, mixers and other premium beverages. Some of these came as a surprise to me- including Stewart’s, Yoo-hoo, Orangina and so many more.
Out of their 14 biggest brands, 13 are #1 or #2 in their respective category!
With so many popular brands under one roof, they know that what they do and stand for has an effect on their consumers. They take that responsibility very seriously, and as a result, have done many things. They:
- voluntarily removed full-calorie drinks from schools, which reduced the calories in beverage shipments to schools by more than 90%.
- put calorie counts on the fronts of all beverage containers.
- support local and national programs that encourage active lifestyles and fitness.
- make their products in a responsible and environmentally friendly way.
- are testing a naturally sweetened line of soft drinks, and continue exploring new options with sweeteners as consumer needs evolve.
The Dr Pepper Snapple Group has two goals for 2015.
- CALORIES IN: Half of all innovation projects focused on reducing calories, smaller portions and improved nutrition.
- CALORIES OUT: Support local and/or national programs encouraging active lifestyles.
Seems simple enough right? Well, maybe not. They plan to reduce the calories consumed in beverages by 20% over the next 10 years by focusing on smaller package sizes, innovation, marketing and distribution of low-and no-calorie beverages. They also participate in Mixify- where they talk to teens about the importance of balancing what they drink and eat with what they do. Between those and the removal of full calorie drinks from school and calorie counts on the front of the containers, they’ve got the CALORIES IN part rolling.
For the CALORIES OUT portion of their goals, they are focusing on commitment to active play. Through their research, they’ve learned that only 20% of children live near a park! Kids are increasingly time-crunched, resulting in less free time, and therefore two-thirds of kids get less than an hour of play a day. Add in the fact that recreational time is increasingly spent on devices (Kids 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day on media) and combine it with the poor eating/drinking habits, and it’s no surprise that obesity rates have tripled.
You may be wondering what exactly a beverage company can do about that, aside from what I’ve already mentioned about lowering calories and whatnot- well they launched Let’s Play a few years ago to provide the tools, spaces and inspiration to make play a daily priority. In 2001, Let’s Play began with a $15 million three year partnership to build or improve 2,000 playgrounds with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated promoting active play. And this year, they’ve extended their partnership through 2016 with another $10 million! Additionally, they made a $1 million commitment to Good Sports, a national non-profit dedicated to promoting active play among older children by providing athletic equipment to disadvantaged young people nationwide.
I loved learning about the Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s commitment to our country’s youth and the obesity epidemic. It’s refreshing to see a company that is aware of it’s social responsibility and influence over kids! And I’m still in shock that only 20% of kids live near a park- we have several in walking distance. Do you live near one?