COMMUNITY | Staff Reporter, Australia

Find out why ‘fat tax’ poses as a challenge to the industry

See part 2 of QSR Media’s interview with strategy experts on the issue.

A ‘fast food tax’ or ‘fat tax’ strategy is currently being studied, as to how it can help reduce overweight and obesity rates in the country. QSR Media conducted an interview with strategy expert, Merrill Pereyra, to find out what the taxation strategy would mean for the QSR industry and how big of an impact can it make.

Read part 1 here.

Below is a Q&A with Merrill Pereyra, Mentor at Start Up & Emerging Ventures.

QSR Media: What will the proposed ‘fat tax’ mean for the QSR Industry?

Merrill: Having a fax tax, and for businesses to not react to this would mean that the bottom line will be impacted. This could then result in some QSR's moving their prices up to minimise the impact of the loss to the bottom line.

QSR Media: How strong is the need for a fast food tax?

Merrill: Denmark tried this and it did not work, in my opinion the Government needs to do a better job of educating people to understand meal choices and healthy lifestyles.

The last time I looked at the stats, 65% of Australians are overweight and 80% of Australians think they are living a Healthy lifestyle. There is a huge disconnect between people's perceptions.

We need to 'educate' the consumer to make the right food and lifestyle choices.

QSR Media: How big of an impact can this make in reducing the obesity rate in the country?

Merrill: Research shows that the low income groups are the biggest consumers of 'Unhealthy foods'. This makes it even more challenging for them to be able to make ends meet.

QSR Media: Do you think that this is the best solution to prevent higher obesity rates?

Merrill: Instead of adopting a punitive approach to incentivise lower consumption of unhealthy foods, governments should attempt to positively incentivise higher consumption of healthier food such as fruits and vegetables. This would undoubtedly be less regressive and punitive to poorer people than a fat tax.


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