Beverage Industry

New nutrition criteria for children’s beverages

July 18, 2011

The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), a program of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, announced an agreement that will enforce uniform nutrition criteria for food and beverages advertised to children. The CFBAI in collaboration with top food industry scientists and nutritionists developed the nutrition criteria.

According to the CFBAI, approximately one in three products currently advertised to children does not meet the new nutrition criteria, which means that many companies will need to reformulate their products or they will not be able to advertise these products after Dec. 31, 2013. The new criteria encourage new products with less sodium, saturated fat and sugars, and fewer calories.

The new CFBAI criteria take into account food science, U.S. dietary guidelines and the real-world difficulties of changing recipes of well-known foods and beverages, the organization says. They also fill gaps in the system of company-specific standards; recognize the inherent differences in food and beverage categories and their role in a child’s diet; and set calorie and nutrient requirements that are appropriate for 10 categories, it adds.

The new criteria include juice and dairy beverages among various food categories. Each category has its own set of criteria. The juice category must not contain added sugars and the serving must contain no more than 160 calories. In the dairy category, an 8-ounce portion of ready-to-drink flavored milk is limited to 24 grams of total sugars. The sugars criteria include naturally occurring and added sugars for flavoring.


The Council of Better Business Bureaus created the CFBAI in 2006 to respond to the Federal Trade Commission’s and Institute of Medicine’s calls for greater self-regulation of food advertising to children. For more details on the criteria, visit bbb.org/us/children-food-beverage-advertising-initiative.