Oh dear lord, what are we supposed to drink now? Water?
First Irn Bru announced it’d be altering its recipe in response to the sugar tax. Now Coca-Cola’s changing things up… and not in a good way.
Rather than changing its recipe, Coca-Cola will deal with looming sugar tax by making its bottles smaller and selling them at a higher price.
So we’ll be getting less Coca-Cola for more money. Great.
The brand plans to shrink 1.75 litre bottles down to 1.5 litre bottles, while increasing the price by 20p, from £1.79 to £1.99. The bigger 500ml bottles won’t shrink, but they will increase in price, going from £1.09 to £1.25.
That’s a fairly sizeable price hike, no?
What's the deal with the sugar tax and soft drinks?
Back in March 2016 the UK government announced that a tax on sugary soft drinks would be introduced in 2018.
This levy will tax the soft drinks industry for sugar content over 5g per 100ml, which it’s estimated will raise £520 million a year – all to be spent on funding sport in primary schools.
Soft drinks manufacturers will be taxed at 18p per litre for drinks containing 5g of sugar or more per 100ml, or 24p per litre if the drink has 8g of sugar or more per 100ml.
To avoid the tax, brands such as A.G. Barr have reduced the level of sugar in their drinks, while others have upped the price to balance out the effect the tax will have on their profits.
As Coca-Cola contains 10.6g of sugar per 100ml, it’ll be taxed at 24p per litre, whereas the decision to change Irn-Bru’s sugar content from 10.3g per 100ml to 5g per 100ml will make it exempt. Sneaky.
From April soft drinks manufacturers will be taxed at 18p per litre on drinks containing 5g of sugar or more per 100ml, or 24p per litre if the drink has 8g of sugar or more per 100ml. The tax will apply to one in five drinks sold in the UK.
At least we can take some solace in the knowledge that Coca-Cola won’t change in terms of taste, but the smaller bottle and bigger price will still make us grumble for a bit.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said: ‘We have no plans to change the recipe of Coca-Cola Classic so it will be impacted by the government’s soft drinks tax.
‘People love the taste and have told us not to change.’
Coca-Cola does plan to change the recipe of Sprite, Fanta, and Dr Pepper, but it’ll leave Coke alone – probably due to the pure fury and rage that came in 1985 when they changed the classic Coca-Cola recipe.
The price hikes and bottle shrinkage should start coming into action in March this year, so if your heart aches at the thought of not being able to get a decent sized bottle for £1.79, you may want to stock up now.