At least one local soft drink manufacturer is reporting an increase in sales of their products since the government’s recent implementation of a tax on sweetened beverages.

Head of SMJ Beverages Barbados, Dr. Mikaeel Mohammed, tells STARCOM Network News that he believes this is a result of having 47 percent less sugar in their drinks.

Because of the fact that we have 47% less sugar in the Busta brand and Chubby brand per serving size compared to the competitors here in Barbados. What we’ve actually found is that because of the government’s awareness associated with the sugar tax, they do a lot of awareness programs. Sales have in fact increased because of the fact that our products have 47% less sugar than the competitors. So because of the awareness that’s in public about sugar content and products, people are seeing that because the pasta and chubby have 47% Less sugar per serving size compared to the competitors, they’re actually buying our products more than they were before. I mean it’s beneficial from a sales perspective but it’s also beneficial from a sugar consumption perspective to the population because our products have less sugar.”

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Dr. Mohammed says Barbadians are becoming more aware of the sugar content in sweetened drinks.

All of our products are within the WHO global standards. As a result of that, and we’ve done that for over five years now. So I think because of the government’s stance on trying to reduce the incidences of NCDs and obesity in Barbados, has increased the awareness of people looking at the sugar contents in the products that they are purchasing, which is a good thing, because we want to educate the people and we aligned with the government in this regard. So it’s actually benefited us from a sales perspective because we have almost half the sugar per ML. So when people are now starting to read the labels and see how much sugar is in some of these products, they actually don’t buy your products that may have been accustomed to and actually buy ours instead. So it’s actually benefited us.”

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Voice of: Head of SMJ Beverages Barbados Dr. Mikaeel Mohammed

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