Blog: Drinks tax moves up the agenda
Chris Mercer | 28 October 2011
The idea of a sin tax on unhealthy food and drink is gaining credence as Governments seek to plug revenue holes any way that they can.
Within the last month, France's Parliament has voted to introduce a special levy on added sugar soft drinks, as well as a lesser levy on soft drinks containing sweeteners. In Denmark, meanwhile, the Government there has said it will introduce a tax on fatty foods, thought to be the first targeted 'fat tax' anywhere in the world.
It is a scenario that alcohol producers are already well aware of. The European Commission and the World Health Organisation have both endorsed duty tax rises on alcohol as one of several means of persuading people to stop drinking to excess.
The health debate around alcohol, fatty foods and added-sugar soft drinks has been raging for some time. But, are we witnessing a change in governmental thinking?
It's hard to judge, because individual governments have their own agendas and ideological positions. In the UK, for example, ministers of the Coalition Government, elected last year, have been clear that they are not seeking to change consumer behaviour via regulation. This, however, has not stopped the UK Treasury from increasing duty tax on beer, wine and spirits.
There are signs that the effects of so-called lifestyle diseases are being taken more seriously, as witnessed last month by the United Nations holding its first General Assembly meeting on non-communicable diseases.
Over the next 20 years, non-communicable diseases will cost the global economy more than $30tn, or 48% global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010, UN delegates were informed by the director-general of the World Health Organisation, Dr Margaret Chan.
At the same time, many national and state economies are under intense pressure to increase revenue and cut debt. The logical conclusion is that sections of government health departments that are in favour of taxes are perhaps finding more friends in government finance departments. More sin taxes, then, could well be on their way.
Some people in India believe alcohol should be more difficult to purchase. Last month, the state of Bihar halted all alcohol sales as its chief minister made good on an election promise. ...
Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....
Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....
I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....
- The category today - Scotch Whisky I
- Today's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky II
- Tomorrow's Market Trends - Scotch Whisky III
- Key Brands Performance - Scotch Whisky IV
- Category Innovations - Scotch Whisky VII
- Beam Suntory names CFO, makes structural changes
- Diageo to accept US$1m South Korea fine
- Analysts clash over AB InBev SAB Brexit impact
- Brown-Forman shuffles director pack
- Pernod switches Travel Retail Europe op's director
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Soft Drinks Global Overview: Growth Opportunities Between Category Lines
- Consumer and Market Insights: Wine Market in China