Sugar tax is bitter for chocoholics but Cadbury’s has a sweetener

August 02, 2019, 10:20 AM GMT+0

This week Cadbury’s new, healthier Dairy Milk landed in shops across the UK. The new product is an attempt to make key products healthier following Government pressure on the industry as it aims to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

The move follows other brands such as Irn-Bru, Lucozade and Fanta which have all reformulated recipes since the start of 2017, anticipating the introduction of the Government’s “sugar tax” that came into force in 2019.

Nestle announced two years ago that its products including Kit Kat and Aero will contain less sugar, while Coca-Cola’s successful rebrand of Coke Zero into Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has led to a third year of double-digit volume growth.

Data from YouGov Profiles suggests that healthier confectionery could land well with Cadbury’s existing customer base, as well as the general public. Profiles data shows that 60% of those whose favourite snack is a Cadbury’s brand admit that they consume too much sugar, which is higher than the still-sizeable figure given by the general public (48%).

We can also see that some Cadbury’s customers will thank the brand for taking responsibility: while 5% of Britons think that the primary responsibility for tackling childhood obesity lies with manufacturers, this number doubles to 10% for those who say Cadbury is their favourite snack.

But a large proportion of customers do not back state intervention to tackle obesity. Some 40% of those who say a Cadbury’s brand is their favourite snack strongly disapprove of the Government putting new taxes on food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

YouGov data also shows that changing recipes is the preferred strategy, over alternatives such as reducing the size of products. Profiles data shows that 63% of Britons would reduce the amount of sugar in the product and keep the same size and price, whereas only 12% would increase the price and keep the same size and ingredients.

This suggests there is an opportunity for companies to adjust their recipes, capturing the growing market of customers looking for healthier options, so long as it doesn’t come at the expense of value and size.

This article previously appeared in City A.M.

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