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Study: Berkeley soda tax reduced sales of sugary drinks 10%

Dive Brief:

  • A new report shows that the soda tax in Berkeley, CA, the first major soda tax enacted in the United States, raised $1.4 million for child nutrition and community health programs, according to Reuters. The tax first took effect in March 2015.
  • Sales of sugar-sweetened beverages decreased approximately 9.6% during the first year of the tax, and sales of untaxed beverages, especially bottled water (15.6%), rose 3.5%, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Over the past year, U.S. municipalities such as Philadelphia, San Francisco, Oakland and Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago, have approved similar laws to tax sugary beverages.

Dive Insight:

It’s no secret that soda sales were decreasing before taxes like this took effect as the result of rising consumer preferences for healthier, better-for-you beverages.

When the one-cent-per-ounce tax was imposed in Berkeley, many retailers chose not...

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