Sugar Tax: Opportunity or Threat?

October 7, 2019 3:42 pm



How would you feel about paying an extra 20 per cent on your fizzy drinks? The introduction of a sugar tax could soon become a reality, if current UK debate is anything to go by.

A sugar tax would see food and drinks with high sugar content be hit with an extra levy, in effort to address rising child obesity figures in the UK and official body Public Health has even put forward a case for tax. On the flip side, opposing views cite low income families as being likely to suffer as a result.

Vowing to Fight Obesity

According to the BBC, the government is due to release its obesity-tackling strategy in the coming weeks, and it was debated in November 2015. The content of the document is still under fierce debate, especially the inclusion of a sugar tax.

With big name supermarkets agreeing to back the tax as well as the NHS and numerous catering and food service providers, may be affected as well as the business itself, with a changing market possibly leading to less demand for some types of catering equipment like commercial dishwashers. . Bars and pubs have worked hard in recent years to offer customers better choices, with licensed operators making a consistent effort to improve labelling on the alcohol they sell to reflect sugar and calorie content.

A Sweet Side?

Some have insisted that the tax could be an opportunity though. With costs driven up for consumers, it would be natural to assume sales will decrease. Perhaps then this would encourage innovation in marketing from big brands, as well as more resources being directed into research on how to offer healthier choices for their consumers. With so many healthy choices now on the market, it makes sense for retailers of sugary drinks and snacks to be looking into reviewing ingredients used in their most popular products. While this sounds great in theory for established brands with a certain amount of loyalty to their name, newcomers may find it more challenging.

While the threats of a sugar tax are clear, the opportunities are still unclear from the perspective of businesses, and with increased pressure on the government to act on rising obesity figures, there may be no choice other than to adapt.