Grassroots mobilization to #KeepSodaintheSodaAisle in grocery stores

The Center for Science in the Public Interest today launched the “Keep Soda in the Soda Aisle” campaign urging the nation’s top 20 grocery chains and major soda companies to stop tempting customers with sugary drinks at every turn and threatening community health.  

In a letter sent to the food retailers and drink manufacturers, CSPI asked the businesses to remove soda and other sugary drinks, like punches, lemonades, and sports drinks from the ends of aisles, checkout lanes, and displays outside of the soda aisle.  

The engine of the “Keep Soda in the Soda Aisle” campaign is a grassroots petition for communities to send a message to the businesses demanding that they put public health before profits.  

“During the past year and a half, we’ve seen how critical grocery stores and other food retailers are to the health and wellness of communities,” Dr. Peter G. Lurie, CSPI president, wrote in the letter. “However, food retailers and soda manufacturers undermine this vital role with the ubiquitous placement of sodas throughout grocery stores.”  

Big Soda sends grocery chains massive payouts to maximize exposure of unhealthy drinks throughout the stores. A recent study in the Washington, DC area conducted by CSPI found that sugary drinks can be found on average in 30 different locations within a store, enticing shoppers at every turn. 

On the other hand, a recent poll conducted by CSPI found that 82 percent of Americans believe grocery stores should promote healthier items. An impressive 77 percent of parents say they would switch to a store that keeps soda only in the soda aisle.   

“We encourage businesses to listen to the voices of their customers and create the healthier shopping environment they demand,” said Sara John, CSPI’s senior policy scientist. “CSPI stands ready to work with them to limit soda to the soda aisle, and to replace sugary drinks with healthier alternatives throughout the stores.”