• jamie posted an update 4 months, 1 week ago

    Sugar tax on soft drinks… How successful will this tax be at combatting obesity?

    Coke and Pepsi are keeping their full fat flavours.

    • Interesting,.. maybe Coke and Pepsi are not changing their recipe because they already offer sugar free alternatives? Will Red Bull, Monster and all all the other energy drinks be affected? They’re bad news IMO.

      • Rather than taxing them I would ban them outright. I don’t know about the rest of the country but round here shops are filled with school kids every morning buying energy drinks.

        • Practically how would such a ban work? It couldn’t be on caffeine because of coffee and tea. It couldn’t be on sugar, because of Coke etc (even if taxed). Ban guarana or something?

        • Ban them on what grounds? Caffeine is legal, sugary crap is legal and drinks in cans are legal. I understand the sentiment but I’m not sure how you’d define them in law, and as someone against the criminalisation of most drugs I’m not sure how you could justify banning something that contains entirely legal substances when the likes of alcohol and tobacco are both legal and freely available too.

        • There is a voluntary age restriction that some retailers are signed up to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43287125 but it’s not actually illegal to sell this sh*t to under 16’s. I agree that it should be banned outright, you might get away with drinking it every now and again and as an adult it’s your choice but I bet long term consumption causes all sorts of nasties.

    • I’ve noticed that my local Tesco Metro is selling Coke at the same price as Diet Coke, but in 250ml cans and 375ml bottles, rather than the 330ml cans and 500ml bottles for diet.

      • The packs of 24 are now down to 18 as well rather than changing the price.

        I think it’s more likely the tax will affect businesses and so make them switch. For instance, if you have self service soft drinks like Subway and Five Guys do, presumably you will have to remove the sugary versions from those otherwise you are forced to have staff checking what you get. (I assume it’s not legal just to charge everyone the tax and take it as profit on the non-sugary drinks, i.e. there must be a price differential?)

        • The sugar tax is a manufacturing tax so anyone along the supply chain could decide to absorb the rises rather than pass them on down the chain ie The Climbing Works, who buys stock from the Soft Drinks Company, could choose not to raise it’s prices. Soft Drinks, who buy from Coca Cola, don’t have to raise their prices. Coca Cola could absorb the tax rise.

          Coca Cola have raised their prices by more than the tax so of course Soft Drinks Co have raised theirs as well. we won’t raise ours straight away but will do once we have to re-stock at the new price.

          Of course if you bring a water bottle we will fill it with lovely low fat, low sugar, gluten free, vegan, dairy free water!

          • Ah, so the likes of Subway could just increase the price on all their soft drinks to absorb it and keep the “open” free pour machines. That in a way negates the point a little – I’m surprised it’s not a retail tax (like the bag “tax”) with a requirement for it to be charged on to the customer over and above the price of a low sugar equivalent – that way it’d be more successful in driving choice by forcing there to be a price differential, I reckon.

    • Will the sugar tax also help against tooth decay?

    • Sugar Tax? OMG they might be opening a bit of a Pandora’s Box there.

    • Russel Kane’s irreverent take on the sugar tax (it’s a little bit sweary)…

      I’m not totally sure what his point is but it made me chortle!

    • I think the 2014 introduction of sugar taxes in Mexico has been judged a public health success.

    • I think that the two main companies, Coke and Pepsi not changing the recipes of their main products speaks volumes about how their consumers will adjust in the long term.

      If the Sugar Tax was so effective in other countries then both Coke and Pepsi would have made an effort.

    • I don’t think it will work.

      Really irritating that a lot of manufacturers are introducing sweeteners (thus saving them costs) to products that didn’t used to have them, e.g. Ribena, lucosade. I’d prefer they pass the cost onto the consumer and gave people the choice. Sweeteners give me bowel issues and it’s getting increasingly hard to find drinks that don’t contain them.