Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Medical | By Mark Scott

Sugar tax fallout: is the industry ready?

Sugar tax fallout: is the industry ready?

A year ago the recipe of Dr Pepper was changed and the drink contains 32% less sugar than before.

Insight from our suppliers has suggested that products which contain the highest amounts of sugar could see a percentage increase for operators of up to 35%, albeit on low volume items.

Many UK drinks manufacturers have already changed to artificial sweeteners ahead of the tax, which reflects a new medical focus on the over-consumption of sugar as the prime suspect for a whole range of diseases, but especially obesity. Therefore, implementation of a price variation for customers, between full and reduced sugar offerings, would be a smart business move for many operators across the hospitality industry, and goes hand-in-hand with the rising trend of healthier food and drink choices by consumers.

The amount each brand goes up by in cost will depend on the added sugar content of the beverage.

Jenvrik also confirmed that the government is already looking to sugary milk-based drinks, like milkshakes, and may start taxing them if companies don't match targets and cut their sugar content by a fifth before 2020.

All age groups are consuming too much sugar, with teenagers the worst offenders.

Companies will have to pay 18p per litre of drink if the product contains more than 5g of sugar per 100 millilitres and 24p per litre if it contains 8g of sugar per 100 millilitres. This relates to all applicable drinks sold in the United Kingdom, both manufactured and imported.

Red Bull, which contains 11g of sugar, will also be subject to the higher tax.

Tesco, Asda and Morrisons took the step of reducing the added sugar levels - to below 5g - in their own-brand soft drinks.

Other brands with 8g of sugar or more include Red Bull, 7Up and Pepsi.

The introduction of the sugar tax has been applauded by health campaigners.

Originally, the Government estimated that the Soft Drinks Industry Levy would churn out a revenue of around £520m in it first year.

Sprite cut its sugar content from 6.6g per 100ml to 3.3g, while Irn Bru more than halved its sugar, going from 10.3g to 4.7g.

Fanta has cut it by almost a third, Ribena and Irn-Bru by half and Lucozade by almost two-thirds.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Diet Coke are not affected by the levy.

Funds raised by the sugar tax will be diverted into school sports, the Government insists.

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