We Won't Sugarcoat It: UK Sugar Tax And The Effect On Our Venues

Due to the UK Government's Sugar Tax coming into effect on 6 April, soft drinks with the highest sugar content will increase in price. The introduction of the Sugar Tax will affect all sugary soft drink prices, in all shops, bars and restaurants across the nation.  You can read more about how the Sugar Tax is going to affect drinks nationwide here.

So How Will The Sugar Tax Affect My Favourite Drinks?

The food and drink industry is already reacting to the introduction of the Sugar Tax, but not in the most obvious way.

A lot of the manufacturers have looked to alter the recipe of their products, with several soft drinks companies reducing the sugar content of their products to avoid the tax. For example, the sugar content of Fanta has been reduced by 30%. Here are some other figures which show the companies that have decided to follow this route as well:

  • Ribena - cut sugar from 10g to less than 4.5g per 100ml
  • Lucozade - cut sugar from 13g to less than 4.5g per 100ml
  • Irn-Bru - cut sugar from 10.3g to 4.7g per 100ml

However some companies have decided to stick with their secret recipes, so Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Cherry and Red Bull will be affected by the Sugar Tax.

In case you're wondering how it all works, we'll break it down for you.

Tell Me How It Works

As mentioned earlier, the Sugar Tax will affect all shops, not just the Union Shop on campus.

  • Drinks with a high level of sugar per 100ml (i.e. above 8g of sugar per 100ml) will be taxed 24p per litre.
  • Drinks with a medium level of sugar per 100ml (i.e. between 5g and 8g of sugar per 100ml) will be taxed 18p per litre.
  • Drinks with a low level of sugar per 100ml (i.e. less than 5g of sugar per 100ml) are below the soft drinks levy threshold, and therefore won't be taxed.
  • Pure fruit juices and sugary drinks that contains at least 75% milk are exempt from the sugar tax.
  • The tax applies to all applicable drinks sold in the UK, even if they're imported.

Will This Affect Drink Prices In The Union Shop?

The bottled and canned drinks affected will increase in price by the exact amount of the tax, which goes directly to the government. Those drinks not affected will remain the same price.

Unfortunately this also means that some drinks in the meal deals, such as Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Cherry, will have to be removed from the deal to make sure you're still getting your lunch at a budget price.

Will This Affect Drink Prices In The Union venues?

The Sugar Tax will indeed affect the prices of alcohol mixers in all of our venues, including The Packhorse. Buying your alcohol with mixers containing a high levy of sugar will be more expensive. So for example, Coke has to increase by 15p for a pint to £1.15, and by 5p for a dash to 45p. In addition, the price of Red Bull has to increase by 5p to £2.25.

It’s not all doom and gloom! We want to make sure things are still affordable for you guys. You can avoid having to pay that extra bit more by buying mixers that have a low levy of sugar or are sugar free.

Mixers that are not affected by the sugar tax include our draught lemonade and Diet Coke, which will stay at the same price of £1 for a pint, and 40p for a dash. To maintain the price of Jungbombs and keep things simple on club nights, we’ll be switching to using sugar-free Red Bull as standard.

So basically, long story short, you just need to remember to specify the product you want clearly when you’re ordering a drink at any of our bars! This way, you can save a bit more on your nights out.

Oh No… Does This Mean VKs Are Going To Get More Expensive?

We’ll give you peace of mind – VKs (for some reason) are NOT affected by the Sugar Tax, and therefore will NOT change in price. You will still be able to enjoy a VK (or a few) on your nights out at the same price.

And that basically sums up the changes that are going to occur! If you have any feedback regarding this, feel free to drop us an email about it.