By all accounts one introduced in Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Italian chain back in June 2015 has been a huge success.

The 10p additional cost for sugar-laden softs resulted in sales of such drinks falling by 9.3 per cent after six months, according to reports.

The initiative was introduced way in advance of the government's own proposed sugar tax or, to give it its proper name, the Soft Drinks Levy, due as it is to come into force next April. This will add 18p per litre to drinks containing 5g of added sugar per 100ml and 24p per litre for the drinks containing 8g per 100ml.

Have you worked out what your strategy to deal with this will be yet?

Are you aware how much of your current soft drink range will be affected? Are you planning on absorbing the cost yourself or passing it onto customers? If the latter, how are you going to communicate your price rises?

Have you looked at offering alternatives? Drinks with no added sugar, such as fruit juices, will be exempt and the big manufacturers are doing their best to reformulate some of their best sellers to bring them in under the threshold.

Apologies for bringing you such thoughts during what is already your busiest time of year but, let's face it, you haven't got long left.

At this point no one really knows what effect making sugary drinks more expensive will have but I'm willing to bet a spun sugar crown that it will have some impact.

Maybe you disagree – one restaurant chain full of relatively affluent customers proves nothing after all and there was more going on than a simple price rise (the influence of The Boy Olivier's own TV program on sugar, for example). Recall the times of plentiful plastic bags, though?

It wasn't that long ago the idea of paying 5p for a flimsy plastic bag seemed vaguely absurd.

Now what seems absurd is that we accepted endless free plastic bags as a good idea at all, it seems to me this isn't all that different.


  • We'll be doing as much as we can to help you deal with the Sugar Tax, watch this space and check out the January issue for the first installment of advice and tips.