Soft Drinks (Sugar Tax)

Why are fizzy drinks so expensive?

The Cook Islands was one of the first countries in the world to introduce a sugar tax on fizzy drinks as a health initiative to help reduce diabetes. The higher the sugar content, the higher the tax.

Price comparison is shown below:

1.5 ltr Full flavour Coke      1.5 ltr Diet Coke       1.5 ltr Coke Zero         Pump 1.25ml

     $6.90                                          $4.00                             $4.00                     $ 4.00

Enjoy the fizzy, not the sugar and even better drink water!

coke family
The lower the sugar - the lower the price!

What was the reason for the sugar tax?

Non-communicable diseases are a major problem in the Pacific Islands, with poor diets an important contributing factor. Available data suggests high levels of intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) across the region, and particularly in adolescents.

In April 2014 the Cook Islands adopted a NZ$9.80 tax per kg of sugar on sugar sweetened soft drinks which is equivalent to NZ$0.38 additional cost for a can of coke.

Due to concerns about the risks to health of high intakes, efforts have been made across the region to reduce the intake of SSBs. Cook Islands implemented excise taxes on SSBs to increase the price to the consumer. Many countries in the Pacific region have adopted school food policies which intend to limit or ban access to SSBs in schools.

Efforts to control advertising and sponsorship of SSBs have been limited to-date in the region, although some school food policies do restrict advertising and sponsorship in schools, school grounds and school vehicles. Efforts around education and awareness raising have shown mixed success in terms of changing behaviour. Greater attention is needed to evaluate the impact of these measures to ensure that actions are effective, and to increase the evidence regionally of the most effective approaches to tackle SSBs.

CITC is increasing the availability of non-sugared drinks and supports initiatives that increase the awareness and education to schools of the harm that drinking sugar sweetened beverages can do.