Evaluation of Local-Level Sweetened Beverage Taxation in the US

Sweetened Beverages On Store Shelves

Summary

This evaluation studies sweetened beverage taxation in jurisdictions across the US, including Cook County, IL; Oakland, CA; and Seattle, WA.  We look at each jurisdiction before and after the tax goes into effect, and compare it to a similar jurisdiction without the tax to answer seven primary research questions.  To evaluate the specific questions outlined below, the research team is using food outlet environmental audits, individual-level surveys, retail-level scanner data, national and publicly available datasets, and key informant interviews.

Research Questions

  • Tax Pass-Through

    How much of the sweetened beverage tax is passed-through to consumers in the form of higher prices for taxed beverages?

  • Sales

    Are there retail changes in the sales and volume sold of taxed beverages following the implementation of a sweetened beverage tax?

  • Substitution

    Are there retail changes in the sales and volume sold of untaxed beverages, alcohol, snacks, and sweets following the implementation of a sweetened beverage tax?

  • Marketing

    Do retailers change marketing strategies and price promotions on taxed and untaxed beverages following the implementation of a sweetened beverage tax?

  • Cross Border Shopping

    Do individuals avoid the sweetened beverage tax by shopping in bordering areas that do not have a tax?

  • Employment

    Are there changes in total, public sector, private employment following the implementation of a beverage tax?

  • Revenue

    Are there differences in the amount of revenue raised by jurisdiction?

  • Implementation

    What successes and challenges to sweetened beverage tax implementation should be shared with other jurisdictions considering a tax?

Our Team

Principal Investigator Lisa M. Powell, PhD
Co-Investigators Frank Chaloupka, PhD
Jamie Chriqui, PhD, MHS
Marcus Dillender, PhD
Pierre T. Leger, PhD
Oksana Pugach, PhD
Shannon N. Zenk, PhD, MPH, RN
Staff Yuka Asada, PhD, RD
Julien Leider, MA
Andrea Pipito, MS
Research Assistants Osama El’Sayed, BS
Yu Li MBA, MPP
Samantha Marinello, MS
Sabira Taher, MPH
Vinitha Varghese, MA
Jiashan Wu, MEcon, MS
Consultant Amy Yaroch, PhD (Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition)