Welcome to Sainsbury’s Help Centre

What is the Soft Drinks Industry Levy?

As part of their plan to tackle obesity in children, the Government introduced the “Soft Drinks Industry Levy” on 6th April 2018, which is an added charge to suppliers on added-sugar soft drinks with more than 5g per 100ml sugar. Click here to find out more.

Which drinks are affected by the sugar levy?
The sugar levy impacts added-sugar soft drinks with more than 5g per 100ml sugar.

Which drinks aren’t affected by the sugar levy?
Added-sugar soft drinks with less than 5g per 100ml sugar aren’t affected by the sugar levy – so Diet Coke, Coke Zero, etc. And drinks such as pure fruit juice aren’t affected because they don’t contain added sugar. There are also some exceptions, such as drinks that have a high milk content, because they contain calcium and other nutrients that are vital for a healthy diet.

Are you making added profit from the levy?

Why does XX product cost more at Sainsbury’s?
A number of factors affect the cost of any individual products but we always aim to offer our customers the best value and regularly review our prices to ensure we’re doing so.

Why haven’t you changed the recipe of your own brand soft drinks to avoid the levy and keep the original lower price?
We’re committed to helping our customers to live healthier lives. Since 2014, we’ve removed 2,267 tonnes of sugar from our own brand soft drinks. This year, we removed a further 1481 tonnes of sugar from our own brand soft drinks. We haven’t changed the recipe of all our own brand drinks though to make sure that we continue to offer our customers choice.

Why do Diet Coke and Coke Zero cost more than Coca-Cola?
Coca-Cola have reduced the size of their bottles and cans of Coca-Cola rather than changing their recipe to accommodate the sugar levy. 

For example, cans of Coca-Cola have changed from being 330ml to 250ml and bottles have been changed from 2 litres to 1.5 litres. Whilst Diet Coke and Coke Zero may cost the same as or more than Coca-Cola, this is because they come in a larger bottle/can.

Why is Coca-Cola no longer included in your meal deal?
Following the introduction of the levy the price of Coca-Cola has gone up and we’re no longer able to offer it as part of our Meal Deal. Coke Zero and Diet Coke are still available in the Meal Deal.

It’s still possible to buy a 250ml can of Coca-Cola with one of a selection of sandwiches and snacks for under £3

Have you delisted x product because of the levy?
We regularly review our products and make ranging decisions based on a number of different factors.

Why are your high-juice drinks so much more expensive?
The sugar levy is applied to diluted products like High Juice according to their dilution ratio (the size of the drink after water is added to it).

For example, a 1 litre bottle of High Juice will make 5 litres of drink in total when you apply the dilution ratio of 1 litre of Juice to 4 litres of water (5 litres in total).

We then have to apply the levy at 5 X 0.18p to get to the correct amount. This works out to be a sugar levy of an extra 0.90p. However, as the levy is also subject to VAT, it means we also have to add VAT onto this amount. So when calculating the levy, you need to first remove VAT from the original price of the product, add the levy amount and then VAT to get the final price of the product with the levy added.

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