Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

A Smaller Coke With A Tesco Meal Deal Is The Very Point Of The Sugar Tax

There are complaints that Tesco now offers a smaller bottle of Coke with its meal deal as a result of the sugar tax. This is not an aberration, is not a mistake nor a rip off by either Coke or Tesco. Instead, this is what has been planned by Public Health England, this is the point and purpose of their plans. They think – on whatever evidence – that we should be drinking less of these drinks with sugar in them. Therefore they advocated a tax on sugar in drinks. This raises the price of them, meaning that we’ll drink less of those pops with sugar in them.

This isn’t a mistake, it’s the aim:

Tesco shoppers have hit out at the supermarket for a big change to its hugely popular meal deal.

A bottle of Coca Cola in the £3 deal used to be 500ml but has now been downsized to smaller 375ml.

Despite customers getting less of the drink than they used to, the price of the meal deal hasn’t decreased.

This has lead to a string of complaints from disgruntled customers, who have called it ‘shrinkflation’ and urged the store to lower their prices.

People buy less of things which are more expensive. That’s the point of the tax. We also find that we humans aren’t perfect in our appreciation of prices. That’s why we get £2.99 instead of £3.01 often enough, we price anchor. OK.

So, now mix and match those two together. Tax on sugary pop has risen, it’s more expensive. Either the meal deal can go to another price point (say, £3.25) or the bottle of pop can shrink.

The actual plan here is that the second should happen. PHE have decided, in their wisdom, that we should have less sugar pop. Osborne, in his delusions, agreed with them. Therefore the bottle of pop has gotten smaller.

No, not a mistake but a victory from the point of view of the prodnoses. Aren’t we lucky to have such prodnoses?

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Rhoda Klapp
Rhoda Klapp
6 years ago

I can’t see the comment I wrote an hour ago. Surely not because I twitted the host? This is the real me. Recent comments on the right side are all askew too, they used to be immediate and always up-to-date.

Rhoda Klapp
Rhoda Klapp
6 years ago
Reply to  Rhoda Klapp

OK, I see I might have broken the stricture at the top under comment policy. Mea culpa.

6 years ago

Of course; the sugar tax imposed a cost, and who did they think was going to pay it? Sure, they hoped to punish executives or stockholders of Tesco for conspiring to kill us with sugar. Tesco can raise prices with impunity, rather than absorb the cost, as it knows that all its competitors have the same added cost.

It was amazing during America’s last bout of double-digit inflation how no one commented on the essence of what was happening and all the news sources covered it as a conspiracy of shopkeepers.

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