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Will the sugar tax help reformulate the British diet?

Future Thinking review the sugar tax

The government’s new sugar tax  aimed at reducing obesity rates came into effect earlier this month. For manufacturers, the need to reduce sugar levels presents a number of challenges and opportunities.

As a nation we are increasingly obese and this is now perceived as the number one long term health issue. The sugar tax is designed to reduce obesity (through education), and minimise the risk of type two diabetes and tooth decay, particularly amongst children. Whether you view this as a practical solution or another example of the nanny state, initial results from Mexico have been positive, with sales of sugary drinks having decreased for the second year running. Conversely all the talk in Norway is of consumers hopping over the border to neighbouring Sweden to stock up on sugary treats which has been unaffected by tax increases.

Manufacturers, and to a lesser extent retailers, now have several options open to them to help in the plight to improve the health of our nation. These include reformulation, healthier alternatives, portion control, messaging and influencing behaviour change.

At Future Thinking, we have increasingly been working with food and beverage manufacturers who are looking reformulate or reduce the size of key products in their range and optimise packaging communications; as well as with retailers who want to support manufacturers as well as the government’s initiative.

For more information please contact Catherine Elms on +44 (0) 3333 208 220.

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