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Anorak | Jamie Oliver’s sugar tax pushes lazy eaters to fruit juices

Jamie Oliver’s sugar tax pushes lazy eaters to fruit juices

by | 18th, October 2017

Jamie Oliver has fiddled with food every since Tony Blair realised the chef was popular on the telly and grabbed him for a conflab. Oliver has been raging against sugar for some time now. But signs are that it’s not working:

Jamie Oliver’s 10p tax on sugary drinks sold in his Italian restaurants has resulted in a significant drop in sales, a study has found.

Oliver gathers up all the 10ps and invests them in “food education and water fountains in schools”. He’s a food colonialist teaching the slack-jawed and sugar-toothed how to drink from a standpipe and worry about food. Sod the toque blanche and get the lad a pith helmet.

Now the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health tells us that sugar-sweetened drinks flogged in Jamie’s Italian-style eateries fell 11% in the first 12 weeks of the levy. At the end of six months, sales were 9.3% lower than before the tax was brought in.

The odd bit is that fruit juice sales were up 22 per cent – you know, those pricey drinks packed full of sugar.

The study, however, does not tell us how Jamie’s faux Italian outlets have fared as a whole over that period. I did have the misfortune to visit Jamie’s Italian at Gatwick Airport just the other week, and can reveal that his cooked breakfast (‘The Full Monty’) was greasy, unsatisfying, badly presented (it came on an oily skillet), mean (3 nasty little mushrooms; two splats of cherry tomatoes; a drool of beans; two undercooked sausages; innersole bacon; charred squares of potato; missing onions; a dry slice of black pudding; and poached eggs that were well cooked but trimmed to the size of tic-tacs) and expensive (£10.25).

Professor Susan Jebb of University of Oxford tells the Times, Jamie’s experiment was “encouraging news for public health ahead of the introduction of the soft drink industry levy”.

Oh, and this:

Jamie Oliver is to close six of his Italian restaurants after tough trading and the “pressures and unknowns” following the Brexit vote.

Oliver intends to close Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Aberdeen, Exeter, Cheltenham, Richmond, Tunbridge Wells and Ludgate Hill, near London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, by the end of the first quarter of the year.

Blame Brexit, then. Easy.



Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, The Consumer Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink