Coca-Cola South Africa has, for the first time in decades, changed their recipe by cutting their sugar content by 26%. Following the pressure caused by high tax on sugary drinks, the legacy brand has had no option but to cut the amount of sugar in their fizzy drinks.
On 1 April 2018, the South African government introduced a sugar tax which meant a Health Promotion Levy of 2.1 cents per gram of sugar on all sweetened drinks, with the exception of the first 4 grams of sugar per 100ml. This exemption is a way to encourage manufacturers to cut their sugar content.
It has proven to be a successful initiative as Coca-Cola buckled under the pressure and significantly reduced the sugar in its recipe to save costs on tax.
This information comes from Camilla Osborne, Head of Communications for Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa who spoke to IOL.
“In South Africa, over a two-year period, we had reduced average sugar content across our portfolio by 26%, ahead of industry commitments of 15%,” Osborne said.
“We recognise that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone and support the current recommendation by several leading health authorities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), that people should limit their intake of added sugar to no more than 10% of their total energy/calorie consumption. We have launched a range of no-sugar and low-kilojoules options and have shifted marketing investments, including in-store, to lead with our no- or low-sugar options. To aid portion control, we offer different pack sizes too. We are also offering preferable pricing for no-sugar products in South Africa,” said Osborne.