Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Medical | By Bryan Strickland

Sugar tax: cost, drinks affected and more

Sugar tax: cost, drinks affected and more

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.

Anticipation of the sugar tax coming into force has meant that many fizzy drinks brands have quietly changed their recipes. Soft drink companies have been engaged in a range of calorie reduction initiatives for many years - resulting in a 19 per cent reduction in sugar intake (from soft drinks) since 2013. But recently it's been a scramble to find innovative ways to rethink their manufacturing processes and successfully reduce sugar content, without a potentially profit devastating change in taste.

Leading brands such as Fanta, Ribena and Lucozade have cut the sugar content of drinks, but Coca-Cola has not. "Customer experience is more important than ever, so aim to offer innovative soft drinks, lower in sugar but perfectly served, to stand out from the crowd".

Tesco has said none of its own-brand drinks will fall foul of the levy, although the process of reformulation started before the sugar tax was announced.

The new measure, created to tackle the obesity crisis, will apply a levy of 18p a litre to drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and 24p for those containing more than 8g per 100ml. This relates to all applicable drinks sold in the United Kingdom, both manufactured and imported.

One 250ml Red Bull energy drink contains 27g of sugar.

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This means the cost of a 330ml can of original Coca-Cola, containing around seven teaspoons of sugar, is likely to rise by around 8p plus Value-Added Tax, according to ITV News. Irn Bru, Red Bull, 7Up and Old Jamaica Ginger Beer will face a similar increase to Coke.

Will the sugar tax work?

Diabetes UK, through its key role in the Obesity Health Alliance, has been a vocal supporter of the policy.

It comes after shocking Public Health England figures revealed one child has a rotten tooth removed every 10 minutes in hospital. The tax is estimated to raise around £520million which will go to the Department for Education to fund sports in primary schools.

The Government recommends four-to-six year-olds have no more than 19g or five teaspoons of sugar a day, and seven- to ten-year- olds to consume no more than 24g a day, or six teaspoons.

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