The California beverage battle: Following footsteps of the 'big tobacco'?
California is one of the states which seek to control sugar beverages by having them taxed more. The initiative to carry this out has already started with two of the cities in this state pushing through votes to have it endorsed. They are the Berkeley and the city of California.
What happens if the beverage industries lose the beverage battle in California?
These votes will be a key determinant of whether or not the taxes on sugary drinks will be increased nationwide. This is for the reason that once this state has the drinks with high sugar content paying more tax, more of the states will follow soot. This will cause the entire nation to raise the taxes on the sodas and sugar filled drinks.
Compared to other states, this action is quite easier in California. More than dozens of states have tried this without success. According to professionals, it is because California is one of the most vibrant in terms of initiatives toward safeguarding the health of the public such as those to do with tobacco use. California is likely to have a nationwide effect as it is a state known for its similar initiatives on such issues. This is according to medical experts.
Despite the American Beverage Association (ABA) having put in a bit over $9 million to counter the two initiatives in late 2013 they still seem to need a revamp in their techniques. This association represents some of the big names in the business of sodas and beverages with high sugar content.
According to the industry, the economy would suffer upon rising of their taxes. Those supporting the initiative however argue that the sugary drinks especially in the United States are major causative factors of diseases such as diabetes. They base this on the studies made of the beverages in relation to health.
How is the California beverage battle similar to the Big Tobacco?
The beverage battle has advanced with both sides developing different techniques to woo the policy making individuals and structures as well as the people on their side. The campaigns have intensified and become more complex. This is sometimes with disregard to what the consumers and small scale business persons need.
According to different experts, Big Tobacco strategies did not just make an impact in their own campaign. They created a playbook whereby companies such as those engaging in the beverage battle have borrowed a leaf from.
Big Tobacco was trying to push against having more regulation measures being set in the industry. This saw them use varied approaches to entice citizens on their point of view. They what's more filed legal suits and used millions in the campaigns. The similarity between the beverage campaigns and the big tobacco campaign is that the tactics used are almost as similar. This is with regards to what the American Beverage Association. Just like with Big Tobacco, the ABA has invested a lot of resources especially financial resources in fighting against the initiatives.
In addition, the association’s move to show the consumers how much there is concern about their well being is similar to that of Big Tobacco. This is whereby healthy living is brought to light during their corporate social accountability drives. This together with emphasizing their generosity in order to get more support by the people has been viewed as a copy of Big Tobacco tactics.
Acquiring popularity among the people as well as decision makers is one of the major tactics by tobacco companies in their endeavor to prevent ecigs through regulations. It is also a major strategy for other organizations as well especially when the campaign being fought against is one related to health. Big Tobacco did this and so are quite a number of other companies faced with similar situations.
Just like in the Big Tobacco campaigns, the sugar beverage companies claim of the depressing result the tax will have on the financial system including loss of employment. On the other hand research suggests that the increased tax would build the economy through increased returns. Also, contrary to claims made by the industries, the jobs would increase rather than lessen.
Those opposing the tax campaign have had a number of successes. For instance were able to manage having those items that were to be taxed in Berkeley reviewed and re described. This made a change to high sweetened beverages from being sugary, of low nutrition and high calorie. The final results however, will definitely have a huge implication.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.