The sugar tax arrives in Spain via Catalonia

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The sugar tax arrives in Spain via Catalonia

Article Date: 09/06/2017 


Cecilia Ruiz, Madrid Office, Bord Bia – Irish Food Bord

As Bord Bia previously reported in the Food Alert “How Sugar Taxes are Forcing Industry Adaptation”... now the sugar war has also hit Spain.

According to the Catalan Authorities this new tax is aimed at promoting healthier eating. It came into effect on the 1st of May ´17, affecting flavoured water products, chocolate and coffee drinks, cold tea, energy drinks and fruit juices made from concentrate. Natural fruit juices, alcoholic beverages and alternative milks with no added sugar, as well as products with claimed medical benefits, are exempt from the tax.

The scientific reasoning behind it is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, which are already followed by countries such as France and Denmark. They claimed that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of being overweight, obesity and tooth decay.

The tax varies depending on the sugar content of the drink: €0.08 per liter for a sugar content of between five and eight grams for every 100 millilitres/ €0.12 for drinks with more than eight grams of sugar for every 100 millilitres.

Sugar is currently referred to in Spain as “white poison”. Some say that it is only a passing trend however retail buyers are already taking into account sugar contents.

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