New group aims to put sports drinks out of reach of ‘sugar tax’

A new group has been formed to protect health-focused sports drinks from caught by the Government’s new ‘sugar levy’.

Sports Drinks Britain says it will work to ensure that this levy – better known as the sugar tax – “does not raise the price of products including sports drinks, protein drinks and re-constituted drinks used by ordinary consumers to help them live healthier, more active lives”.

The British Government has announced that the tax will apply to all ‘sugary soft drinks’ containing over 5mg of sugar per 100ml, with the stated intention of reducing consumption of sugar-filled drinks and reducing the levels of obesity in the UK. However, details on the scope and scale of this tax are still sparse, leading to fears that without urgent action the sports drinks sector will “face an inappropriate, unnecessary tax”.

Chris Whitehouse, campaign director of Sports Drinks Britain said: “Whilst we fully understand the British Government’s desire to use any policy lever it can to bring down obesity rates, the current vagueness of the Government’s proposals means that without urgent engagement from the sports drinks sector here in the UK, it’s possible that sports drinks will be hit by a completely unnecessary and inappropriate tax.”

“Although the UK Government has promised to consult on the proposed tax over the summer, this may well be too late. The industry needs to come together as one, now, to ensure that the case is made to exempt sports drinks from this levy.

“Positive action works – pure fruit juices and milk-based drinks have already been excluded from this legislation. Companies who may be affected by this tax should join Sports Drinks Britain and achieve a similar outcome to protect their products.”