Less than a week since the introduction of the ‘sugar tax’, the soft drinks industry levy, one wholesaler has reported that the effects of the tax are already being felt.
BB foodservice – the delivered foodservice arm of Bestway Wholesale – has reported an increase in sales of lower and zero-sugar soft drink variants in March 2018 compared to last year.
On Friday 6th April the sugar tax came into force, adding 18p per litre on drinks with between 5-8g of sugar per 100ml and 24p per litre on drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml. Funds raised through the tax will go towards reducing childhood obesity through schemes such as breakfast clubs and physical activity programmes.
“Several of our key suppliers have been making recipe changes in preparation for the levy, with Britvic already having cut sugar across its product range, including Fruit Shoot and J2O,” said Tony Holmes, sales director at BB Foodservice. “And changing patterns in our sales data suggests operators are making changes too. Our March sales of lower and zero sugar variants are much higher than they were last year.”
While there is no legal requirement for manufacturers and retailers to pass the additional cost to customers, the government and many manufacturers do recommend that price differences are made to change buying behaviour and reduce sugar consumption in people’s diets.