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Sugar tax comes into force Posted On 06 April 2018

The tax on unhealthy foods and drinks to encourage Britons to consume less, has come into force today

Ranked the sixth fattest nation in the world, today marks the introduction of the soft drinks industry levy by the government which aims to encourage Britons to cut back on their unhealthy eating and drinking habits.

Numerous drinks manufacturers have been preparing for the new rules since they were announced in the budget statement last year, and many have reformulated their recipes to take huge amounts of sugar out of their products. The sugar tax will not apply to sugar-free soft drinks such as Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero.

Analysts Mintel found that the sugar tax is likely to have an effect on 47% of consumers, with that figure rising to 53% of 16 to 34 year-olds. 53% of Londoners are the most likely to be deterred by the tax, dropping to fewer than 4 in 10 (38%) of consumers living in Scotland. Research has discovered that low sugar content is the single most important factor consumers have in mind when seeking out healthy food, and is named as the top consideration by 52% of shoppers.

The actual increase in tax will be the equivalent to a standard can of regular coke, costing currently around 70p, being bumped up in price by 8p, while the same amount of Sprite will go up by 6p. The current cost of a 1.75ml bottle of coke will increase in price from roughly £1.25 to £1.49.

Associate director of Mintel, Emma Clifford, said: “A war is being waged against sugar by the government and the media. This sustained attack over a number of years has had a big impact on how consumers view this now-demonised ingredient, what they think constitutes healthy food.

“It’s encouraging that Britons are making more of an effort to eat more healthily, though they continue to enjoy permissible indulgences.

“However, there is potential for this overarching healthy eating trend to be undermined by consumers’ incomes being squeezed, together with the perception that healthy food is expensive.

“Nevertheless, there are still opportunities for retailers to provide more shopper support in making healthier and price savvy choices, while simultaneously promoting customer loyalty.”

Image source, Inside Small Business.

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