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The Sugar Tax

What is the sugar tax?

The soft drinks levy (sometimes known as the sugar tax) is a new levy that applies to the production and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar. It will come in to effect in April 2018. The levy will apply to the producers and importers of these types of drinks. It will have a lower rate which will apply to added sugar drinks with a total sugar content of 5 grams or more per 100 millilitres and a higher rate for drinks with 8 grams or more per 100 millilitres. It will not apply to any drink where no sugar is added.

Introducing the “light” equivalent

The drinks industry has responded to the sugar levy by reformulating some drinks to reduce the sugar level, or by introducing a “light” equivalent. This can be seen across the range from traditional “fizzy pop” to energy drinks and fruit drinks.

The Irn Bru revolution.

One of the well-publicised product developments was made by Barr Soft Drinks with Irn Bru. For more than 100 years its makers have steadfastly refused to give away details of the secret ingredient, however in its original form it falls into the higher rate sugar levy. The recipe will continue to remain a mystery, but the makers of Irn-Bru have created a sugar-free alternative – Irn-Bru Extra, a new version of the UK’s third most popular soft drink, the first for 35 years.

Fruity water

Although pure fruit juice is exempt from the sugar tax, the high level of natural sugars has also attracted negative attention. Manufactures have overcome this by diluting fruit juice with water.

Some really good still and sparking drinks are coming to market, in a range of delicious flavours far more diverse than the limited choice of orange, apple or blackcurrant . Mango, strawberry, blueberry, kiwi, and elderflower are not just restricted to artisan brands, they are now core ingredients used by the big brands.

So is the sugar tax a bad thing?

The soft drinks market of today, compared when the sugar tax was first muted, has come a long way. The industry had no choice but to react with improved product ranges and low sugar options.

In cold drinks vending machines operated by Westways Vending, you will now find an interesting range of drinks, including those with low sugar. This has to be a good thing for all of us.

Something for everyone

Westways aims to offer something for all tastes. So whether you prefer sugary drinks, an energy boost or low calorie refreshment, Westways looks forward to serving you!

To find out more about our fully managed vending service , please explore our site or give us a call on 0800 195 3170

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