What’s the impact of a sugar tax?

Him! International takes a look at soft-drink shoppers in France to see if the recent sugar tax is having any impact on their buying behaviour in convenience stores.

Several countries have introduced taxes on sugary drinks, saturated fat, confectionery, chocolate and/or ice-cream. As many as 33 US states have ‘soda’ taxes in place and France introduced a modest tax on all fizzy drinks (including low-calorie versions) in 2012. It’s now illegal to sell unlimited soft drinks at a fixed price or offer them unlimited for free. The number of overweight or obese people in France is below the EU average, but is on the rise.

Him! International’s latest European-shopper insight study looked at 7,865 convenience shoppers across key markets. It found that France still seems to have one of the highest consumption rates of sugary soft drinks in Europe.

The percentage of shoppers whose last soft drink bought was the ‘regular’ and not the ‘diet’ or ‘sugar-free’ version was highest in Germany (70 per cent), followed by France (69 per cent), Spain (65 per cent), Netherlands (61 per cent), Ireland (58 per cent) and the UK (57 per cent).

Him! also found that soft drinks are a major footfall driver to convenience stores in France, second only to chilled dairy as a category. Him’s data captured shopper behaviour and attitudes in key retailers in France. The percentage of customers who gave ‘to buy soft drinks’ as the main reason for their last visit to the store was highest at SPAR (15 per cent) followed by BP (12 per cent), Shell and Carrefour City (11 per cent), and Franprix (nine per cent).

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