Knowledge for better food systems

The UK tax on sugary soft drinks is effective even before it has been applied

Photo credit: Dean Hochman, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0

This short blog by Michael Hallsworth from the UK’s Behavioural Insight Team, discusses the early impacts of the upcoming soft drinks levy by the UK government. This levy aims to reduce sugar intakes from drinks.

With a two-tier tax system, which taxes at different rates depending on sugar content, the new levy will mean that drinks containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml will become more expensive. The government has set the starting date in 2018, giving drinks manufacturers time to adapt their drinks to contain less sugar. The figure below shows how much sugar different soft drinks in the UK currently contain in relation to the two new tiers of tax (red and orange lines).



Only months after the announcement of the tax, Tesco and Lucozade Ribena Suntory have announced that they will cut the sugar content in their products so as to avoid the levy. Other companies are set to follow.

The blog can be read here

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