Corporate voluntary pledges to improve the health of Americans have not been held to either explicit measurable outcomes or a framework for independent evaluation. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), whose members include 16 of the nation's leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) food and beverage manufacturers, voluntarily pledged to collectively sell 1 trillion fewer calories in the U.S. marketplace by 2012 (against a 2007 baseline), and sell 1.5 trillion fewer calories by 2015. This paper presents the findings of an independent evaluation of the 2012 HWCF marketplace pledge, conducted in 2013. The 16 HWCF companies collectively sold approximately 6.4 trillion fewer calories (-10.6%) in 2012 than in the baseline year of 2007. Taking into account population changes over the 5-year period of 2007-2012, CPG caloric sales from brands included in the HWCF pledge declined by an average of 78 kcal/capita/day. CPG caloric sales from non-HWCF national brands during the same period declined by 11 kcal/capita/day, and there were similar declines in calories from private label products. Thus, the total reduction in CPG caloric sales between 2007 and 2012 was 99 kcal/capita/day. This independent evaluation is the first to evaluate food industry compliance with its calorie reduction pledges and to assess how sales from the CPG food and beverage sector are changing. An accompanying paper investigates the extent to which the HWCF pledge affected household-level changes in CPG calories purchased, controlling for important economic and sociodemographic factors affecting household food purchases over this period.
Copyright © 2014 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.