France Soda Tax Takes Effect

The so-called "cola tax" adds a 1 euro cent to soft drinks.

January 04, 2012

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.