How the new sugar tax on soft drinks will affect you

Posted April 08, 2018

Before the sugar tax was implemented in the United Kingdom there were concerns it wouldn't reduce people's consumption of sugary drinks or combat obesity and instead would act as a tax on the poor.

From now on, drinks with a sugar content higher than 5g per 100ml will be taxed 18p ($0.25) per liter, and drinks with 8g or more will be taxed 24p ($0.34). Firstly, manufacturers are expected to reduce the sugar content of their products, which many have already started doing (Fanta, Ribena, and Lucozade have cut the sugar content of drinks, but Coca-Cola has not).

The levy will be applied to manufacturers in Britain and whether they pass it on to consumers or not will be up to them.

Shortly after the 2016 announcement, Lucozade Ribena Suntory launched Lucozade Zero in the United Kingdom, citing "the nation's changing health agenda".

The main reason for imposing the tax is to reduce the health problem of obesity.

In New York, the Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule was a controversial proposed limit on soft drink portions which was heavily supported by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013.

Which other countries have sugar tax? According to our supplier Brakes, in terms of YOY volume growth, full sugar drinks have seen a 1.4% increase whereas low calorie drinks have seen much larger growth of 14.6%.

Leading brands in the United Kingdom, such as Fanta, Ribena and Lucozade, have cut the sugar content of drinks.

It is hoped the tax will encourage drinks companies to cut down on the amount of sugar in drinks, and consumers to choose lower sugar alternatives.

Pepsi and Coca Cola refused to slash the sugar content in their classic drinks over fears of a consumer backlash. The vast majority of our drinkers want to consume less sugar so that's what we're now offering.

It's also argued that the sugar tax fails to address the obesity crisis and the government should subsidise the cost of healthy food or improve health education. "As that has happened, obesity rates have continued to rise".

Numerous major flavours of Fanta were overhauled past year.

It was the biggest single cause of hospital admissions for 5-to-9-year-olds, who accounted for over 42 per cent of cases, despite being largely preventable.

But the tax will solve neither obesity nor tooth decay and PHE is urging parents to change their children's eating and drinking habits.