We have seen a lot of news recently about the obesity crisis in the UK, and more specifically the movement from government and health authorities to increase tax on products high in sugar to discourage people from consuming too much of it. Currently it costs billions to the already burdened NHS and more prevalently it accounts for 70,000 deaths per year.
The aim is to add another 20% tax on items with high sugar content with the target of cutting “chronic” obesity and diet-related health issues in 180,000 Brits. This extra income would help tackle these problems, subsidise the sales of fruit and veg and ultimately save lives.
With a third of Brits predicted to be classed as obese by 2030 there seems to be genuine-if not late- momentum in tackling the problem head on.
However, will this work and what is the food industries response? As you would predict it is not wholly positive. Their retort is that sugary food is already taxed and adding these extra taxes in other case studies around the world have had a minimal to no effect on improving health.
Food and Drinks businesses, particularly with ever more stringent standards to adhere to, argue that they are already working hard to cut the ‘bad stuff’ from their ranges- such as salt, sugar and calories, and it is through NPD, product reformulation and overall dietary advice that this improvement will continue- not through increased taxation.
So the health authorities and the food/drinks industry seem to be at loggerheads on this contentious issue
How would an increased taxation effect your business?