This is something I have taped on the edge of my monitor at home.
Warning : Highly appropriate profanity at end.
A recent article on the BBC says “The US soft drinks industry says it has dramatically cut the number of high-calorie soft drinks sold in US schools as part of a drive to tackle obesity.”
While the article trumpets that “the reduction in sugary soft drinks in schools [was] formed part of a deal between the major companies and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation”, I think it’s a rather strange coincidence that corporate concern for “obesity” is timed with the fact that sugar is now priced at an all time high, with sugar prices jumping “… 12% in the last 12 months and is now 33% higher than the level that prevailed for most of the 2000s.”
To make matters worse, now that sugar is rapidly going up in price, suppliers are hording it, thereby making sugar even more expensive than it needs to be. An article on the Daily Tribune says “Food exporters suspect hoarding of sugar as the main reason for the rocketing price of the commodity and called on government to immediately step in to help avert the collapse of the food export industry due to possible supply manipulation.”
Back in December, I posted an article on how General Mills is cutting sugar in children’s cereals, coincidentally as sugar prices reach 28 year highs. GM saw this problem coming way back then, and now the soda industry is moving on it.
I bet there’s going to be even more drastic sugar reduction in foodstuffs soon. Not because the food industry truly gives a flip about the “obesity epidemic”, but because one of their main ingredients just rocketed by a 28 year high mark in 2009.
I also bet this issue is going to snowball pretty quick in the mainstream. I’ve already noticed a huge price increase on sugar in the supermarket, and if GM and the major soda vendors are cutting sugar content, you can bet the smaller companies are going to start making changes as soon as they can.