The future of the sweetened beverages tax in Portugal

The future of the sweetened beverages tax in Portugal

06.12.2018

In 2017, the Portuguese Government created the special consumption tax levied on sweetened beverages. During the first year of implementation, this tax collected about 80 million Euros and all revenue was invested towards the Portuguese National Health Service funding. To evaluate the effect of this tax, the Portuguese Government created an interministerial taskforce, to study changes in consumption patterns, industry offering, reformulation of existing products, launch of new products, and competitiveness of national companies versus those overseas. A preliminary analysis showed no substantial change in sales of sweetened beverages between 2013 and 2016. According to official data, after the implementation of the tax in 2017, sales had a 7% reduction due to price elasticity and reputational effects.

Reformulation processes led to an 11% reduction of total energy intake through sweetened beverages’ consumption by the Portuguese population. WHO Regional Office (Europe) collaborated with the taskforce by undertaking an impact analysis. The aforementioned sales reduction and reformulation should result in 1600 fewer obese people and, according to WHO, should avoid or delay at least 27 deaths directly related to excessive sugar consumption in Portugal every year.

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