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Caterers have been asking me how the soft drinks industry levy or “sugar tax” will affect them ahead of its introduction in April 2018. 

In short, the soft drinks levy has been devised to affect the manufacturers and producers of sugary drinks not the consumers.  The “sugar tax” will be imposed on companies according to the volume of the sugar-sweetened drinks they produce or import. Small scale manufacturers will be exempt.

The tax will work on two bands:

– Drinks >5g per 100ml of total sugar will be taxed at 18p per litre

– Drinks >8g per 100ml of total sugar will be taxed at 24p per litre

Fruit juice won’t be taxed as it does not contain added sugar and milk based drinks will also be exempt because of their nutritional benefits to health e.g. calcium.

Some examples of drinks which would currently fall under the higher rate of the sugar tax include standard Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Lucozade Energy and Irn-Bru. The lower rate would apply to Dr Pepper, Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes Indian tonic water and alcohol-free shandy.

To avoid any resulting price increases, review your drinks offer and replace sugary soft drinks with sugar free drinks and those with a sugar content less than 5g per 100ml.


Useful Info

– Government advice about Soft Drinks Industry Levy.

Case study on how Mytime Active reduced sugar by 136KG and increased drinks sale by 30%


Pelican can help you

If you would like to review your menu or food/drinks products you buy to reduce sugar, fat or salt consumption – please contact Anna-Maria Holt BSc Hons. RD, member of British 

Dietetic Association and Company Dietitian at Pelican Procurement Services on or call 01252 705200. 


Anna-Maria Holt

Company Dietitian and Health & Wellbeing Lead at Pelican Procurement Services

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