Blog: Lobby groups threaten taxing future
Olly Wehring | 21 September 2009
Two issues last week show quite clearly the pressure being exerted on our industry outside of the economic downturn.
In the US, a health commissioner led the call for the introduction of heavier taxes on soft drinks which are high in sugar, as a way of combating the obesity epidemic. Taxes on CSDs in the majority of the US states are currently too low to curb consumption, said New York City health commissioner Dr Thomas Farley.
The call for higher taxes is a well-worn path and one that most maintain is an ineffective approach to an issue. The hike in cigarette prices on mainland Europe in recent years is a strong example of this failed strategy. Most clearly, however, such calls from experts indicate the failure of our own industry to engage with such figures.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the issue of minimum pricing for alcohol as a means of curbing excessive consumption took a positive – albeit predictable – twist, when the UK's Office of Fair Trading voiced its opposition to the matter.
The legalities of imposing minimum pricing have always made the introduction of such measures impractical. However, the “solution's” ability to attract headlines will keep it at the forefront of the debate on alcohol abuse as politicians and lobby groups look to maintain the pressure for calls for legislation to curb drinking.
Again, it is vital that our industry continues to take a positive and proactive role in this debate and avoids being dragged into an ugly war of words. Education of consumers and legislators remains key.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- SABMiller's troubles fuel M&A rumours
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- TWE unveils Penfolds range after CEO's "bold move"