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Should we impose a tax on sugar in Sweden?

Should we impose a tax on sugar in Sweden?

Swedes tend to have two things: coffee and loose candy. In fact, in one year we eat an average of 15 kilograms of candy per person, according to statistics from the Swedish Agriculture Board in 2020. Meanwhile, countries such as Finland, Norway, France and the United Kingdom introduced a sugar tax, but not Sweden. Would we Swedes eat less sweets if sugar became more expensive?

Cloetta is behind such favorites as Kexchoklad, Ahlgren’s Cars, Center and Gott & Blandat. During January, February and March, they earned 131 million Swedish kronor after taxes on the sale of sweets to Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and others. This shows the interim report released today.

In Sweden, Kluita is the company that sells the most bulk candy. However, the sugar tax is not something that worries the company, as it comments in its 2021 annual report on the subject as follows:

“When different taxes are introduced, sales are affected of course, but mainly and marginally just like our products so that consumers want to indulge in them, and can indulge themselves in them, no matter how high the prices.”

Today, a chocolate cake costs about 20 SEK depending on the brand. The question is how many chocolate cakes were sold if they cost 30 SEK instead. or 40? The stand went out in the town to ask the young people if their consumption of sweets would have decreased if sweets had become more expensive.

Amir Madaliev, 15, says his brother had to pull out nine teeth because he ate too much sweets.

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– He came home without teeth so I felt sorry for him. Amir says: It’s better that sweets are more expensive, so you can’t buy them.

Today’s prince eats a bag of sweets a week, but if sweets cost more, he’ll save his money instead.

– I will save for something better, for example for games. Amir says I will save to buy something for my mum on her birthday.

Elaine Ecker, 17, eats sweets about once a week, but if they get too expensive, she’ll cut back.

– It’s not something I crave every day. Right now, says Elaine, the salad is starting to get tastier and tastier as you get older.

Moa Wallen, 16, thinks a sugar tax is a bad idea.

You can more likely treat yourself to what you want, rather than costing you too much because you want to buy something specific, says Moa.

The Cancer Foundation sees the sugar tax as an important part of the way to improve public health in Sweden, especially the tax on sugar-sweetened drinks such as soft drinks. The sugar tax can affect people’s finances and health, but according to the Cancer Foundation, it’s also a social issue. He wrote on his website that taxes on some products can only result in the wealthy in society being able to afford things, such as sweets and soft drinks.

But there’s also another social aspect to the sugar tax that it’s aiming for, as research and surveys on national consumption show that the poor generally consume more sugar than the rich, according to the Cancer Foundation.

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“Young people, especially in the socioeconomically vulnerable groups, drink sugary soft drinks to a greater extent than others,” he wrote on the website.