On Friday 6th April 2018 the Government’s sugar tax came into effect. Described as ‘ground-breaking’, the tax was introduced to encourage fundamental changes in companies production of fizzy drinks.
The tax was unveiled by George Osborne in the 2016 Budget to come into effect two years later in April 2018, giving manufacturers an opportunity to address their recipes.
The levy is being imposed on manufacturers who in turn are then likely to pass onto consumers. There are two tiers of tax;
- 18p per litre on drinks with more than 5g per 100ml
- 24p per litre on drinks with more than 8g per 100ml
Immediate reports are already suggesting that the levy has proved a great success with 50% of all drinks have had their sugar content reduced ahead of the new levy coming into effect.
The original red Coca Cola and blue Pepsi have kept their recipes unchanged stating that they cannot amend their award winning formula that people know and love. They are instead proposing to use smaller bottles which will be sold at higher prices.
Will the levy work longer term? There is concern about the viability of some products, such as Irn-Bru, but on the whole the industry seems to be taking positive steps to help with the increasing issue of obesity. Time will undoubtedly tell – but I don’t think that the levys will stop here.
Whilst a good step forward, it would be nice to also see ‘healthy’ foods become more affordable thus encouraging people to buy them as opposed to the unhealthy alternatives….