Fewer drinks meeting sugar levy thresholds

A new study measures the impact of the United Kingdom Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) on price, product size, number of soft drinks on the marketplace, and the proportion of drinks over the lower levy threshold of 5g sugar per 100ml.

The SDIL was announced in March 2016 and implemented in April 2018. It charged manufacturers and importers at £0.24 per litre for drinks over 8g sugar per 100ml (high levy category) and £0.18 per litre for drinks with 5 – 8g sugar per 100ml (low levy category) with fruit juices and milk-based products being exempt.

The SDIL was associated with a considerable impact on the soft drinks industry with the percentage of drinks with sugar over 5g per 100ml falling from 49% to 15% between 2015 and 2019. The most rapid period of change being just before implementation with the amount of drinks meeting the levy threshold reducing by 19.5% just 50 days beforehand. 50 days after implementation drinks above the levy threshold had reduced by 30.7%.

There has been little change in product size in big brands, but reductions in own-brand product sizes account for about 30% of the increase in price per volume observed. There was no change observed in the number of products available to consumers. The price of high sugar drinks increased by only one third of the amount of the tax.

This research was carried out by the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford University.

Posted: 18/02/2020 15:51:28 by Caitriona Breaw
Filed under: Drinks, Reformulation, Sugar, Sugar tax, Sugary drinks


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