ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Cold Stores, which operates the Elephant House food and beverage brand, scrapped its ‘Go Sugar Free’ soft drink line due to low consumer demand, the firm has said.
"The traction on the CSD (Carbonated Soft Drinks) “Go Sugar Free” variant introduced in 2018 was disappointing and as a result of the lack of consumer demand for sugar free CSD beverages in the Sri Lankan market, the Company withdrew the range," Ceylon Cold Stores shareholders in the annual report.
The ‘Go Sugar Free’ line was launched in April 2018, after Sri Lanka’s elected ruling class, egged on by social engineering etatists tried to force unarmed citizens to dance to their tune by slapping a punitive tax on soft-drinks sweetened with natural sugar in 2017, mis-using taxation for non-revenue purposes.
In France ‘yellow vest’ pro erupted in flames as etatists slapped a new carbon tax on on motorists where over half the retail prices of fuel were already made of tax.
Sri Lanka also has high taxes on alcohol and beer.
Ceylon Cold Stores introduced sugar free versions of the existing beverages such as EGB, Necto, Cream Soda and Orange Crush.
The sugar free products contained Stevia, a plant-based sweetener.
The firm said the beverage sector volumes fell 16 percent due to an overall demand fall in discretionary food items, which was made worse with the sugar tax.
However, in 2019, the government revised the etatistic sugar tax to 40 cents per gram of sugar from the original 50 cents per gram, helping the beverage sector pick up.
"The industry welcomed rationalization of the sugar tax in the Government budget proposals for 2019 enabling the business to reduce prices of carbonated beverages towards the end of the financial year, which resulted in an uptick in volumes," the firm said. (Colombo, 11 June, 2019)