Mother-of-two Gemma Pond formed The Hudson Group at the beginning of 2016 after becoming frustrated by the unhealthy ingredients in soft drinks – even those that appeared to be full of fruit and sugar-free.
These were the bottles and cartons that her four-year-old son, Hudson (pictured below), was most likely to reach for on trips to the high street.
Gemma started the healthy drinks company, Nuva, in 2014 in a bid to offer greater choice to people seeking healthier soft drinks on-the-go. Within a year, the company had won ‘Best Flavoured Water’ at the Global Bottled Water Awards, in Lisbon.
It is through her experience launching Nuva and a personal passion to see healthier drinks on the high-street that inspired Gemma to found The Hudson Group, an informal coalition of concerned parents who want to work with the retailers, manufacturers, the Government, politicians and health campaigners to bring about change.
The Hudson Group advocates:
- A kitemark scheme, administered by an independent body, to identify drinks that are not laden with sugar or harmful additives and sweeteners.
- A VAT reduction on drinks that achieve that kite mark from 20% to 5% to incentivise innovation in the development of healthy drinks.
- A change in the way unhealthy drinks are given much more prominent shelf space in shops than healthy alternatives.
The Hudson Group has announced a Parliamentary Summit on May 25th, 2016, at which major retailers, manufacturers and industry stakeholders will be asked to debate how these changes could or should become a reality. In the weeks that follow the Group will use that input to draft pledge to be signed by organisations that are committed to taking positive action to effect change.