New Soda Tax In France: Answer to Obesity and Debt Crisis?

Earlier this year, countries like Hungary and Denmark decided to apply new taxes to unhealthy foods. Now France is following suit by imposing a soda tax. Starting on January 1, 2012, the so-called “cola-tax” will be applied to all sugary soft drinks, including big global brands like Coca Cola and French brands like Orangina.

According to Agence France-Presse, the tax of around one Euro cent per can is expected to bring in tax revenues of 120 million Euros ($156 million). For a government that needs to find 100 million Euros in savings to balance its budget by 2016, taxing the sweet tooth of the French populace may seem like a great way to kill two birds with one stone — bring in more tax revenues and decrease obesity.

But will a one cent per can tax be enough to actually change the habits of the French? That remains to be seen. The small increase in price as a result of the tax may not be enough, but industry sources predict a price increase of up to 35 percent when the tax is introduced.

Companies that produce sugary drinks have, of course, protested the introduction of the tax. In September, Coca-Cola announced that it would suspend its planned investment in a new plant in France in a “symbolic protest” against the planned tax. The company felt that it would punish their company and stigmatize its products.

Personally, I see the entire price of a can of soda and then some as a tax on both my wallet and my health. If I really want to give in to a sugary drink, then I have to pay that price. Most of the time, however, a glass of water wins out.

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Photo credit:Gullig on flickr


W. C
W. C8 months ago


William C
William C8 months ago

Thank you.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 5 years ago

Definitely a bit of both. Good start though. I hope it works.

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog5 years ago

They need to have a much higher tax for people to notice...and care. But it's a start!

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen6 years ago

Thank you

federico bortoletto

Giustissimo. Di certo non eliminerà il problema ma forse ridurrà il consumo.

Lucy H.
Lucy E6 years ago

Right on, Karen H! When will people here see that raising taxes only enriches the 1%? The way to combat obesity is to make healthy foods affordable. In this country, the next step is to rethink the work day. Hours are wasted commuting when telecommuting is a viable option.

I work from home at a high tech job. The time I spent commuting is now used exercising and cooking healthier meals. I've lost a great deal of weight since starting this job and have found more energy to join in community groups.

Karen H.
Karen H6 years ago

I don't think the "cure" for obesity is another tax or another law. How about making foods that are good for us more affordable? Right now, it's cheaper to grab a fast food meal & a soda than to fix something more healthful.

Malgorzata Zmuda
Malgorzata Z6 years ago

To nie przyczyni się do spadku sprzedaży, a tylko uderzy kupujących po kieszeni, trzeba szukać innego sposobu.