Sugar Tax & Craft Drinks
In 2018, the UK introduced a levy on excessively sugary soft drinks with the intention of curbing the nations addiction to needlessly sweetened refreshments as part of a broader reaching strategy to tackle childhood obesity. The sugar levy was proposed following a high-profile campaign to improve children’s nutritional consumption by celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, and UK Parliamentarians were clambering over themselves to be associated with such a noble cause.
As with all noble causes, the British Government was quick to investigate the variety of options available, eventually proposing a brand new tax. The cynic would say they swiftly settled on the option that provided the greatest fiscal return and there were many opponents to the Sugar Tax. The Governments new tax proposal was debated in parliament with several MPs stating such a levy would be a direct attack on the poorest, most vulnerable people in society, needlessly increasing the cost of living. However, the rebuttal was swift and the Soft Drinks Industry Sugar Tax was born.
With retailers facing a potential downturn in the sale of the high-sugar, often caffeinated brands that had grown in popularity over the preceding decade, the soft drinks industry started to move away from such stimuli, instead focusing on creating new flavours that could quench the thirsty masses and secure their brand position. This change in taxation concerned the biggest brands most, having spent the last half-century pumping ever-increasing quantities of sugar and caffeine into their drinks they were fearful that altering the recipe of their most popular flavours would lead to a decline in sales. While the larger brands worked out how to approach this new quandary, a brand-new gap in the market appeared, and smaller, artisan producers were able to compete in the industry, once so heavily dominated by the sugar and caffeine-fuelled goliaths.
At this very point, the Gunna team was assembled. With an encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure and historic thirst-quenching remedies, from Steelworks, the thirst-quencher of choice for South African Tin miners, to a non-alcoholic interpretation of Shirley Temple’s favourite tipple, the team developed a range of flavourful recipes and awarded them names that pay homage to their often humble origins. The Gunna range includes Steelworks, Ginger Rebel, Pink Punk and Muscovite – four amazing craft flavours that bring zing and zest in equal measure to the UK’s palate, and we are still working on more flavours to expand the current range. Since it’s inception the brand has gone from strength to strength, creating an era defining moment as the nation becomes more health conscious and less glucose obsessed.
Without the introduction of the Sugar Tax, it is unlikely that healthier drink options would have ever been given the exposure they so rightly deserved, as the drinks industry had become complacent in its high sugar approach and retailers were happy to stock it. This new initiative has given retailers the incentive they needed to look at healthier options and, as a result, opened the door to a new range of soft drinks, improving choice for the consumer and provided a much-needed alternative to the high-sugar approach that has dominated the market for so many years.