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Robinsons Brewery, situated in the heart of Stockport for 180 years and with over 260 managed and tenanted pubs in its fast-growing pub estate, last year saw the introduction of the Government’s sugar tax - which taxes the soft drinks industry for total sugar content over 5g per 100ml and applies to drinks such as Coke, Red Bull and Irn Bru.

Soft drink on bar

David Bremner, Director of Marketing at Robinsons Brewery, commented:Since the implementation of the sugar levy on 6th April 2018, Robinsons can now report excellent results to follow. We have taken out 260 million calories/65 tonnes of sugar – which is equivalent in weight to 65 of our Shire horses. And at the same time, our sales have also grown.

The soft drinks tender was very well led by Britvic – who had a stronger market share and greater rate of sale in the North West of England, which is where most of our pubs are based. Britvic installed draught equipment in 143 sites over our estate – which has improved the rate of sale in our pubs. We went from 70% of our soft drinks having above 5-8 grams of sugar, to post implementation where we are now 93% sugar free and below the minimal threshold for paying sugar tax.

Our estate now offers better brands, glassware, point of sale and rate of sale along with less sugar in our soft drinks, so all in all we can say this was a well-delivered programme with exceptional results

Consumer trends ongoingly display that customers are certainly looking for healthier alternatives nowadays, regardless of the Government’s practices. With this in mind, the switch to lower sugar soft drinks helps to tap into current drinking trends, along with helping to tackle the UK’s obesity epidemic. According to the Morning Advertiser: “One of the elements of health and well-being is more consumers not drinking, especially in the much younger audience. However, they still want to enjoy themselves and clearly every business should have a strategy around this trend.” With health existing as such an important factor in the drinking culture of millennial's (and with this on the rise), Robinsons has demonstrated how the sugar tax has harnessed a positive influence upon both its pubs and customers.

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