SSB Taxes - Case studies

Trends in beverage prices following the introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Barbados

The burden of non-communicable diseases in the Caribbean is among the highest in the region of the Americas. Among them, Barbados has alarmingly high overweight and obesity rates. Since September 2015, a 10% excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages has been implemented. This study assessed the prices of sugar-sweetened beverages in each quarter relative to the same quarter of the previous year.

By the third quarter of 2015, the price of sugar-sweetened beverages increased by 3% while the price of other beverages decreased. In fact, it was also highlighted that changes in the price of sugar-sweetened beverages outpaced the one of non-sugar-sweetened beverages. This preliminary descriptive analysis shows a divergence in the growth trends of sugar-sweetened beverage prices related to the ones of non-sugar-sweetened beverages following the introduction of the tax.