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What is the Sugar Tax & How Will it Affect You? | Healthy Vending

A Guide To The UK Sugar Tax

The UK’s Sugar Tax was put into force on Monday, 6th April 2018 and with this, it has naturally brought about a variety of questions about; what the Sugar Tax means? Why it’s been implemented? And what it means for consumers and businesses?

What is the Sugar Tax?

The Sugar Tax is a levy which applies to the manufacturers of soft drinks with added sugars; it is at the discretion of the manufacturer as to whether they pass on the additional costs implied through the new Tax onto retailers and customers. The tax will apply to drinks which fall into the following categories:
  • Drinks containing 5-8g of Sugar per 100ml will be taxed at the equivalent of 18p per litre
  • Drinks containing more than 8g of Sugar per 100ml will be taxed at the equivalent of 24p per litre
The tax excludes pure fruit juices which have no added sugars, as well as high-milk drinks (of 75% or more) due to the calcium provided in these drinks. Food items such as Biscuits and Cakes will also not be effected by the tax and it is expected that there will be a separate levy for food items with added sugar.

The Sugar Tax Infographic

The infographic below outlines key facts on why the sugar tax has been implemented, and how well its worked across the globe.

Why is the Sugar Tax being implemented?

The Sugar Tax has been implemented in an effort to encourage a decreased consumption of sugary soft drinks due to increased pricing. The money gained from the levy will be used to fund School Sports and Breakfast Clubs. Initial forecasts for the Sugar Tax were set at £500 million, yet this has been lowered to £240 million since the Tax was announced in 2016. This is largely due to many manufacturers reducing the amount of sugar contained in their products to fall beneath the tax’s threshold. Most notably, Irn-Bru and Ribena have reduced the sugar used in their drinks by around 50% so that they fall below the tax brackets. Others such as Pepsi and Coca Cola have not changed their drink’s recipe, but instead have looked at alternative means of reducing bottle sizes and increasing the cost of products.

Will the Sugar Tax Work?

Many question whether the Sugar Tax will have the desired effect; a study conducted by Mintel showed that just under 50% of Brits say that the tax will encourage them to cut-back on their consumption of sugary soft drinks. Furthermore, a similar Sugar Tax was introduced in Mexico back in 2014 and first year results from this showed that 12% of customers were consuming less sugary soft drinks, as well as an increase in the purchase of other soft drink items such as bottled water.

What does the Sugar Tax mean for Consumers & Businesses?

Overall, the Sugar Tax means that both businesses & consumers will either be paying an increased price for soft drinks, buying a smaller portion size, or will find that some of their favourite soft drinks have reduced sugars used in their recipes. It is also likely that you may find an increased variety of healthier soft drink options; as businesses who provide refreshments for employees, it will be key to re-assess their current offering for employees to help them make better choices for both financial and lifestyle reasons. To discover more about Healthy Vending Machines which are CQUIN compliant or how to help get your Vending supplies up-to-date with the new Sugar Tax, don’t hesitate to contact us at Westways Vending.
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