With food and beverage becoming a more important part of the work of the “Consumer” organisation, it was no surprise to delegates at last month’s Beverage Council conference in Wairakei that CEO Sue Chetwin had some harsh criticisms of the industry.

Chetwin was highly critical of the industry’s marketing and promotion in both advertising and point of sale material. She said that her organisation felt that sugary drinks were a real problem and while it was a question of education, Consumer believed that the “nanny state” should be telling the general public what to do to overcome the obesity issue.

“We realize that the industry is taking the sugar issue and obesity on board, but Consumer will continue to support taxes on sugary drinks if the industry doesn’t do something positive and immediate about it,” she said. “We know that people need choice, but this industry does have a leadership role to play.”