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Lucozade, Orangina and Ribena halve sugar content to skirt tax

Drinks brands Lucozade, Orangina and Ribena have announced they are to slash sugar content by 50 per cent to bring the products below the threshold of a punitive government sugar tax, set at 5g of sugar per 100ml.

The well-known drinks brands fall under the parent umbrella of Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) which will ensure each one complies with the new maximum sugar allowance whilst also displaying calorie content in a bid to make them more appealing to health-conscious consumers.

From the summer onward sugar content will drop to 4.5g per 100ml ahead of a 2018 target implementation date for the new levy in a bid to future-proof its business. A bottle of Lucozade can contain as much as 13g of sugar per 100ml serving at present.

Speaking to The Times LRS chief operating officer Peter Harding said: “Today's announcement is a game changer for our business and for those people who love and enjoy our drinks.

“The world has changed, with consumers now wanting healthier drinks and more action from the brands they regularly enjoy.”

Growing awareness of the link between sugar intake and obesity has prompted the NHS to consider backing a ban on all fizzy drinks, worst offending fruit juices and flavoured coffees within its premises.