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Restaurant chain 'cut sugary drink sales' with price rise

From BBC - October 16, 2017

An increase in the price of sugary drinks in restaurants and the offer of healthier alternatives could encourage customers to cut back on sugar, a study suggests.

In Jamie's Italian restaurants, sales of sugar-sweetened soft drinks declined by 9% following a 10p price rise.

The chain also redesigned the menu and explained that money from the levy would go to charity.

Experts said more research was needed to pin down what measures worked.

Consuming too many sugary soft drinks has been linked to a higher risk of serious health problems such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and tooth decay.

Sugar tax

To help tackle obesity, the UK government is introducing a tax on high-sugar soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Irn-Bru in April 2018 - and Jamie Oliver had been vocal in his support of the plan.

This study, in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, analysed sales of sugary non-alcoholic beverages at 37 of Jamie Oliver's national chain of restaurants after a 10p levy was introduced in September 2015.

Low-sugar fruit spritzers (fruit juice mixed with water) were also added to the menu, which clearly explained why the levy was being introduced.

After 12 weeks, sales of sugary drinks per customer had declined by 11%, and after six months they had gone down by 9.3%.

But the study did not look at any other restaurant chains to compare sales figures.

Changing behaviour

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