Prices of some fizzy drinks have increased but will sugar tax make an impact?

Friday 6th April 2018 marked a landmark occasion for soft drink manufacturers as the sugar tax levy came into effect. Manufacturers have been encouraged to cut sugar content in their products or face paying a levy if their drinks contain more than 5g of sugar per 100ml. Yet not every company have opted to change their recipes…
It is believed that 50% of all drinks have seen their sugar content reduced ahead of the sugar tax levy but one huge brand has decided not to adjust their product, despite one 330ml bottle containing more sugar cubes than the recommended intake for a primary school child.
In 2016, trade magazine The Grocer ranked Coca-Cola as the UK’s best selling brand with sales bringing in over £1 billion. Although around half of their sales come from sugar-free drinks such as Coke Zero and Diet Coke, the decision by Coca-Cola not to cut their sugar content in their regular cans and bottles will see prices rise. The famous red can will now be around 8p more expensive whilst a ‘share bottle’ will be stamped with an average increase of 24p.
The sugar tax levy is designed to try and reverse the growing obesity epidemic with funds raised being passed on to schools in alignment with their Sports Premium funding. However, many critics claim that the measures are not going far enough, suggesting that people wanting to buy a fizzy drink will simply pay the increased price. Others have asked why prices of products are going up when reductions should be being made to the costs of healthy food and drinks.
However, such an initiative has made a positive impact in other areas of the globe. Mexico has seen a 12% decrease in the sales of sugary drinks after just one year, whilst Hungary have witnessed an average drop of 40% sugar content in their fluids.
Whether the sugar tax levy in the United Kingdom has a similar outcome remains to be seen. 70% of participants in our recent poll claimed that an increased price would not stop them from buying fizzy drinks…