Whereas National Health authorities recommend a decrease in the consumption of 'added' sugar, a reform on the sugar market will lead to a 36% decrease of the sugar price in the EU. Using French data on soft drinks purchases, this paper investigates the anticipated impact of this reform on the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The reform of the EU sugar policy leads to a decrease in regular soft drink prices by 3% and varies across brands. To assess substitution within this food category, we use a random-coefficients logit model that takes into account a large number of differentiated products and heterogeneity in consumers' behavior. Results suggest that price changes would lead to an increase in market shares of regular products by 7.5% and to substitutions between brands to the benefit of products with the highest sugar content. On the whole, it would raise consumption of regular soft drinks by more than 1 litre per person per year and consumption of added sugar by 124 g per person per year, this increase being larger in households composed of overweight and obese individuals.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.