Coca‑Cola Great Britain’s latest Real Talk forum invites cross-sector experts to discuss how to help consumers make healthy and informed choices

This year’s first Real Talk forum for Coca‑Cola brought together policymakers, behavioural scientists, NGOs, and industry peers to discuss how consumers can be better supported to make healthier decisions.

The discussion was chaired by Tortoise Editor, Jeevan Vasagar, who was accompanied by Dusan Stojankic, General Manager of Coca‑Cola Great Britain – alongside other expert panellists with industry-leading knowledge in behavioural science and consumer insights.

The panel began by outlining the steps already taken by the food and beverage sector to address public health and nutrition. According to Kantar, as a product category, beverages contribute 1.5% of calorie intake to shopping baskets[1]. Indeed, Zero and low-sugar drinks now make-up two-thirds (67%) of Coca‑Cola’s volume sales in Great Britain[2].

Despite progress being made, the room acknowledged that more needs to be done to address wider societal health objectives.

Dusan Stojankic emphasised that Coca‑Cola Great Britain’s approach to health and nutrition is based on less sugar, more choice. Coca‑Cola aims to support informed consumer choice holistically: by reformulating its drinks, providing more low-and no-sugar options; including voluntary traffic light labelling on all products; supporting portion control with a range of package sizes; and helping consumers by “heroing” Zero Sugar options.

Choice, the audience heard, is what consumers are looking for. However, from a behavioural science perspective, the panel highlighted the role of industry in determining how choices are presented – via incentives, communications, and provision of important information – including marketing and labelling. With the regulatory landscape set to change further in coming years, the need for continued collaboration between private, public, and civil stakeholders – and ongoing innovation – was reiterated by all.

Real Talk heard a wide range of perspectives, in an open and discursive forum, with attendees from a range of sectors. Among a range of contributions, the audience heard how:

  • Reformulation and portfolio innovation are a critical driver in supporting consumers to make healthier choices.
  • While giving consumers choice is crucial, it’s also important to have the right regulatory/taxation mechanisms in place to incentivise people to make better choices.
  • A multitude of complex factors (financial, socio-economic, mood-related) influence the choices people make about their health, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

As Dusan Stojankic highlighted, there is more to be done by all in the industry to support consumers in making healthier decisions. However, this year’s Real Talk confirmed that open and honest discussions will help promote cross sector collaboration - which is key to making meaningful progress.


[1] Beverages include Cola Carbonates, Non-Cola Carbonates, Juice Drinks (up to 24% juice), Nectars, RTD Tea. Based on Euromonitor Data 2022

[2] 2022 Sales data of The Coca‑Cola Company portfolio in Great Britain covering all brands.