How Does the Probability of Purchasing Moderately Sugary Beverages and 100% Fruit Juice Vary Across Sugar Tax Structures?

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2020 Nov;28(11):2078-2082. doi: 10.1002/oby.22992. Epub 2020 Sep 27.


Objective: Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes are increasingly used to discourage sugar intake; however, the impact on consumer preferences for particular products is largely unknown. This study explored the impact of two tax structures (tiered vs. nontiered and inclusive vs. exclusive of 100% fruit juice) on participants' probability of purchasing moderately sugary beverages and 100% fruit juice.

Methods: A sample of 3,584 Canadians aged 13 years and older completed a series of beverage purchasing tasks, each corresponding to a different tax condition, within an experimental marketplace. Tax conditions included a no-tax control, plus four taxes varying by structure (tiered vs. nontiered) and whether or not 100% fruit juice was included.

Results: The odds of purchasing a moderately sugary beverage were higher under tiered versus nontiered taxes. Purchases of higher sugar beverages differed little across tiered versus nontiered structures. Odds of purchasing 100% fruit juice were lower when these products were taxed versus not taxed.

Conclusions: Results suggest that two key tax structures are likely to function as expected; taxes including 100% fruit juice products may lead to lower probability of purchasing fruit juice, and taxes incorporating multiple tiers may be more likely to encourage purchases of moderately sugary products than nontiered formats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Consumer Behavior / economics*
  • Female
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juices / economics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages / economics*
  • Taxes / trends*

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