United Kingdom sugar tax: The experts weigh in

Andrew Cummings
April 6, 2018

Each litre of sugary drink will have an extra tax charge of between 18 to 24 pence, depending on how much sugar is in the drink. 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.

How much sugar should I be having a day: 30g for adults, 26g for 7 to 10-year-olds and 19g for 4 to 6-year-olds.

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


"Sugar intake from soft drinks has been declining year-on-year since 2013 yet figures from the NHS state that obesity prevalence increased from 15 per cent in 1993 to 27 per cent in 2015".

Supermarket Tesco has reformulated its own-label soft drinks to come below the levy threshold and believes 85% of all the drinks it stocks will be unaffected.

Some of the companies who make fizzy drinks have changed their recipe to avoid the higher tax. Britvic says that 94% of its drinks, including Robinson's and Tango, are now exempt, while AG Barr has halved the sugar content in Irn Bru despite a petition from fans of the brand to maintain the current recipe.


And if it has more than 8g of sugar per 100ml... well, it goes up again. We welcome this measure and the positive steps industry has already taken by reformulating some soft drinks products so they contain less sugar. Our recent situation report: The Scottish Diet: It needs to change 2018 has shown that while purchase of sugary soft drinks had decreased from 2010 to 2016 this has been offset by an increase in sugar purchased from other foods. Why should we suffer this draconian approach to obesity?'

Under the levy, the cost of producing a standard can of Coca Cola will increase by 8p, while a pint of a soft drink subject to the higher band served in a pub or restaurant will increase by 14p.


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