• On April 6, 2018, the United Kingdom’s sugar tax on sodas and soft drinks took effect. As previously reported on this blog, several cities in the United States already tax soft drinks, as do countries like Mexico, France, and Portugal.
  • The Soft Drinks Industry Levy applies to non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., under 1.2% ABV) with added sugar. A drink is considered to contain “added sugar” if sugar has been added at any stage during production. This includes pure cane sugars, like sucrose and glucose, as well as substances that contain sugar, like honey. The tax applies to packaged beverages, but does not apply to milk-based drinks, 100% fruit juice, de-alcoholised beer and wine, drinks with less than 5g sugar per 100mL, and those from small producers. The tax rate for added sugar drinks with a total sugar content of 5g or more per 100mL is 18 pence (25¢ US) per liter, and those with 8g or more per 100mL is 24 pence (34¢ US) per liter.
  • The tax is applied to manufacturers of the soft drinks, and unsurprisingly, the beverage industry has been against such sugar taxes. Originally, the Treasury forecast it would raise more than £500m a year from the tax, but that has now been reduced to £240m because over 50 percent of manufacturers have reduced the sugar content in their products. The income raised from the tax is to be invested in school sports and school breakfast clubs.