In recent years, increased attention on fighting obesity has made soda a chief target of health champions, from the proposed ban on soft drinks in New York City to Boston's infamous "fat smack" campaign from a few years ago. Beverage labels, like food labels, provide a means to product transparency that major brands don't always take advantage of, according to those concerned with nutrition, but one exception appears to be in the making, as Coca-Cola has announced that it will enact changes to drink labels with an eye toward increased health awareness.
Specifically, the company intends to make calorie information more visible by placing it on the front of its products' packaging, although there's no set date given for when this will happen, and opponents (as described in Bloomberg) seem to be seeing this primarily as a stunt.
This comes with other promises from the company along the same lines, including pledges to stop targeting children in marketing and even sponsor programs that promote exercise. Although the company's CEO, Muhtar Kent, alleges that many of their beverages available in the United States already contain negligible amounts of calories, Coke will also be promoting these kinds of reduced-calorie drinks in other countries.
Regardless of the motives behind it or what the ultimate response will be, this is a sure indication of the power in labels and their placement. Companies researching how to make a label more effective can think about the advantages to putting information in the most visible space on the product, and the sort of transparency this kind of move represents.