Faced with constant reminders about what to do (exercise more, eat better) and what not to do (over spend, over eat), and fatigued from several years of austerity, consumers will look for ways to live a little without giving up a lot. People have been exercising more self-control, and increasingly they’re looking to let loose once in a while; indulging in sinful things, splurging on treats and at least momentarily escaping from today’s many worries.
The fat taxes is the new tax sin; in a bid to put the brakes on obesity, governments will try to push consumers away from unhealthy foods with cost disincentives. In 2011, Hungary introduced an added tax for foods with high fat, salt and sugar content, along with a higher tariff on soda (and alcohol), while Denmark added a tax for high-saturated fat foods. Similar legislation was proposed in Australia and Britain. And at year-end, France approved a tax on sugary soft drinks. Look for more national and local government to follow.