Coke, McDonald’s Slam New York City Bid to Ban Big Soda Cups
Coca-Cola Co and McDonald’s Corp slammed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed ban on large soft drinks in New York City, arguing for freedom of choice and saying it would not effectively curb obesity.
“New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase,” Coca-Cola said in a statement on Thursday.
The world’s largest soft-drink maker, which would be most affected by the ban, said it already puts calorie counts on the front of its bottles and cans and noted that restaurants post calorie content for all their offerings, including soft drinks.
Bloomberg’s assault on super-sized sodas opened a new front in the battle over how local governments regulate in the name of health what people eat and drink.
“You can still be a beast. We’re not keeping you from eating fattening foods or drinking 32-ounce bottles of full-sugar drinks,” Mayor Bloomberg told the All Things Digital gathering in Rancho Palos Verdes, California via video conference on Thursday. “We are just telling you that this is detrimental to your health and making you understand that by portion size.”
On Wednesday, Bloomberg proposed amending the city’s health code to prohibit many places from selling soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces.
It was not immediately clear how much fountain soda is sold in large cups in New York City, but experts agree that such a ban could trigger similar actions elsewhere.
“This raises the specter of this going to other cities as well,” said Bernstein Research analyst Ali Dibadj. “These companies may have to start playing whack-a-mole if this gains momentum.”