FEATURE19 September 2019

Sweet truth

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FMCG Features Impact Trends UK

More than a year on from the introduction of the sugar tax, UK consumers still have a soft spot for all things sweet. By Emily Pitman

With alarmingly high levels of childhood obesity reported in the UK, and mounting pressure from Public Health England, the government introduced a sugar tax in April 2018 – and it’s safe to say it has saved the nation millions of calories over the past year.

After the levy was announced, soft-drinks companies faced a major fork in the road: take the difficult decision to reformulate their products and risk customers disliking the changes, or find a way to fund the levy – in most instances, by simply charging more to account for the difference.

Despite the best efforts of many brands, the introduction of the tax and subsequent changes to drinks – be it to the recipe or price – didn’t escape criticism from consumers. There was also a backlash over the ‘nanny state’ style of the measure.

How worried are consumers about sugar?

Despite the initial criticism, Walnut Unlimited research shows the backlash doesn’t mean consumers are not concerned about their ...