6 Things You Need to Know About The UK Sugar Tax
Later this month the Government plans to publish a Child Obesity Strategy in order to tackle the growing obesity crisis in the UK and to combat the development of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.
The Call for Sugar Tax
Celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, has called for a “Sugar Tax” to become part of the government’s strategy in order to combat this crisis; calling for a tax of 7p per regular sized can of soft drink.
Health professionals have widely supported this tax and 150,000 people have also signed the chef’s petition.
On the other hand, many government officials as well as food manufacturers are thoroughly against such measures, with contrasting opinions on the best way to tackle the UK’s so called obesity epidemic.
The Sugar Problem
14.7% of children’s daily calorie intake is made up of sugar.
Soft drinks are the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11-18 and they provide 29 per cent of their daily sugar intake.
Mexico is one country that has implemented a similar sugar tax, which has resulted in sales for fizzy drinks plummeting by 12% in its first year.
Combatting Obesity in the UK
Now Jamie Oliver and other campaigners in the UK have started to call for Britain to adopt these measures. Oliverargues that the tax will encourage people to make healthier choices, as well as raising up to £1 billion in revenue.
This money will be used to treat related diseases, as well as funding initiatives in schools to promote healthier choices and consequently reduce obesity in the future.
But What About The Food Industry?
Despite public support, food manufacturers have praised government opinion ruling out such a measure.
There is concern that the tax would affect those on lower incomes the hardest and would not significantly improve the health of the nation as a whole.
A proposed countermeasure is to crackdown on the advertisement of unhealthy foods which children are exposed to on a daily basis and drive the consumption of these products.
Soft Drink Sales Decline
Dentistry.co.uk has reported that the sugar consumption per head in the UK has actually fallen since 2011.
The number of soft drink sales has reduced by 5.2% over the past 5 years.
In contrast the sale of plain water is rising, with flavoured water growing by 1.7% and fortified water by 17%.
These results suggest that consumers are already aware of the dangers of consuming too much sugar and are switching to healthier alternatives.
How Will This Effect Jobs In The Food & Drink Sector
It’s not yet known if the Sugar Tax will form part of the governments Child Obesity Strategy.
Whilst these debates are creating a positive awareness of healthier diets, what impact do new legislations have on the food and drink job market?
At Eden Scott we have noticed that a number of our clients in the soft drinks industry are already investing heavily in order to produce low sugar alternatives.
Coconut Water for example, has become an extremely popular product due to its health benefits and we are likely to see more products like this on the market.
New Product Development will therefore continue to grow in order to provide healthier alternatives to the high sugar products which currently dominate the soft drink market.
Are you interested in a new role within the burgeoning Food & Drink sector? Why not browse the jobs we currently have available.