Soda Sales in Philly Drop Following the Tax on Sugary Drinks

NBC News

A Philadelphia tax on sugary drinks back in 2017 has been the cause of a decline in the purchase of soft drinks in the state. The state has taken a 38% dive in sales of sugary drinks and diet drinks just last year.

The results were posted just this past Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Research was funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization that believes in anti-obesity among children and adults and supports measures of that including soda taxes.

The new results are based on sales at nearly 300 supermarkets, big box stores and pharmacies in Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs. The researchers also looked at Baltimore, which doesn’t have a soda tax, for comparison purposes.

They tracked sales starting in January 2016, the year before the 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax was imposed, through December 2017. Per-ounce soda prices in Philadelphia increased by 1.56 cents at pharmacies, .87 cents at big box stores, and .65 cents at supermarkets. Sales volume decreased by 1.3 billion ounces in Philadelphia, or about 50 percent, but that dropped to 38 percent when counting a 308 million-per-ounce sales volume increase in bordering communities, where prices were nearly unchanged. Soda sales prices edged up and soda sales volume dipped slightly in Baltimore.

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