Does the EU sugar policy reform increase added sugar consumption? An empirical evidence on the soft drink market

Health Econ. 2011 Sep;20(9):1012-24. doi: 10.1002/hec.1721. Epub 2011 Feb 14.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Carbonated Beverages / economics*
  • Carbonated Beverages / standards
  • Carbonated Beverages / supply & distribution
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Diet / economics
  • Diet / standards
  • Dietary Sucrose / economics*
  • Dietary Sucrose / standards
  • Dietary Sucrose / supply & distribution
  • European Union*
  • Humans
  • Marketing / economics
  • Models, Economic
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*


  • Dietary Sucrose