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An Investigation into the introduction of a tax on sugar sweetened soft drinks in Ireland and its impact on consumers’ buying behaviour

O'Connor, Simon (2018) An Investigation into the introduction of a tax on sugar sweetened soft drinks in Ireland and its impact on consumers’ buying behaviour. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact on buying behaviour of Irish consumers since the introduction of a sugar tax on sugar sweetened soft drinks. It will seek understand if behaviour has shifted since the introduction of the tax and will identify the main factors that impact upon buying behaviour. In addition, the research will focus on both the price and sugar content of soft drinks and explore if these influence behaviour change. The Irish Government’s aim of the tax is to shift consumers from sugar sweetened soft drinks to healthier alternatives, which may lead to lowering the obesity rates. This study aims to establish if this tax is succeeding in its aim.

Structure: This study adopts a quantitative approach to research, where respondents were questioned through a structured web-based, open and closed question survey to gather robust data to understand the main factors that influenced any shifts in behaviour.

Originality/Value: This research adds knowledge and understanding to several areas, with detailed attention on Irish consumer behaviour with regards to this tax, especially as this tax was introduced less than six months before this research project. The research will also add knowledge regarding the impact of a ‘sin’ tax on overall behaviour, the impact of price on consumer decisions, and if sugar content is affecting behavioural decisions. The research updates the vast existing literature in this area and identifies the challenges that governments might face should they implement additional sin taxes. The research can also provide important information on consumer behaviour to other fast-moving consumer goods producers, should the base for sugar tax be widened to other categories such as breakfast cereals or confectionary.

Concluding Statement: Results indicate that Irish consumers have not shifted their buying behaviour since the introduction of the sugar tax on sugar sweetened soft drinks.
Price and sugar do not play a role when buying a soft drink and Irish consumers’ perceptions of sugar content on a wide range of beverages is significantly inaccurate.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance > Taxation
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Management
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 16:10
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2018 16:10

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