Document Type : Commentary
Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal Portugal
The paper by Forde et al., newly published in this journal, sheds light on how SugarSweetened Beverages (SSB) companies may react to the introduction of a SSB tax. This commentary goes over the paper’s main findings and drafts implications for research on the impacts of SSB taxes. First and foremost, future research needs to assess the actual impacts of SSB taxes on companies’ actions, especially reformulation. Second, cross-country research, comparing large companies with similar beverage portfolios, could bring insights about the impacts of external factors, including different SSB taxes, on companies’ decisions. Third, SSB companies’ actions are potential confounders in empirical studies looking into the impacts of SSB taxes on prices, demand, or other outcomes. Researchers need to be aware of and discuss such aspects thoroughly in their studies, as the implications for the interpretation of results are evident.