It's been a while since there's been much talk about a soda tax, but last week's election has brought it into light again. More cities approved of placing a tax on soda: San Francisco and Albany in California, and Boulder, CO.
The passing of a soda tax comes shortly after a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) in which it calls on governments to place a tax on sodas and other sugary beverages to help fight obesity.
"If governments tax products like sugary drinks, they can reduce suffering and save lives," says Dr. Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO's Department for Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases. "They can also cut healthcare costs and increase revenues to invest in health services."
As you'd expect, the report was not uncontested. The International Council of Beverages Association "strongly disagrees" with the tax, claiming that "it's an unproven idea that has not been shown to improve public health on global experiences."
Those experiences being Berkeley, CA, Mexico, and now Philadelphia, PA.
But researchers have documented a decline in sales in sugary drinks in Mexico, and Berkeley residents reportedly increased their water consumption by 63% while decreasing soda consumption by 21%.
Coca-Cola And Pepsi Respond To Soda Tax
There are conflicting reports about how both Coke and Pepsi are fighting the tax, but one thing is certain: both soda companies have been increasing options for less sugary drinks in recent years due to changes in consumer tastes.
Some of Coca-Cola's healthier options:
- Vitamin Water
- Honest Tea
Some of Pepsi's healthier options:
- Naked (juices)
How Much More Would You Pay?
If soda was taxed at a rate of 1.5% per ounce in your city (similar to Philadelphia's tax), here's how much more you would pay:
|10 oz bottle/can||15 cents|
|12 oz||18 cents|
|16 oz||24 cents|
|20 oz||30 cents|
|32 oz||48 cents|
|1 liter (33.81 oz.) bottle||50 cents|
|2 liter (67.62 oz.) bottle||$1.00|
What Does A Soda Tax Mean For Vending Companies?
As vending professionals, we know that an increase to the vend price can result in quite an uproar from customers. With the national average of $1.50 for 20 oz. bottled drinks, it would put the price up near $2.00.
Vending companies would surely take a hit, but how much? As more and more cities begin to implement a tax on sodas, time will tell what vendors will have to do.