PARIS - The French now pay
a 1 euro cent tax per container of soft drinks as part of a government effort
to curb obesity and fatten state coffers, ABC News reports. The new tax went
into effect Jan. 1. The French "cola tax" is the latest European tax to target
obesity through taxing food and beverages. In October, Denmark started taxing
fatty foods, while Hungary has a fax tax on products high in fat, salt and
sugar, which includes soda.
The French Constitutional
Council recently okayed the tax as part of austerity measures designed to boost
revenue. The soda tax is forecast to bring in around $156 million for the
government, which said it wasn€™t targeting any specific group with the tax. The
cola tax is the first of several plans to combat the country€™s debt crisis. Tax
hikes have been proposed for liquor and cigarettes, too.
The French media reported
that most soft drink companies are planning on increasing prices by as much as
35%. Coca-Cola has five plants in France, and officials have said they will not
be investing ‚¬17 million in a Pennes-Mirabeau location as "a symbolic protest
against a tax that punishes our company and stigmatizes our products,"
according to an AFP report.
The upcoming February issue of NACS Magazine will take a closer look at the increasing presence of "food police" in your stores.