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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

How to stimulate consumer orientation toward healthy foods using sugar tax

Published: May 27, 2020


Anastasia Nedelko, Higher School of Economics; Olga Tretyak, Higher School of Economics


healthy foods; consumer orientation; governmental regulation


Consumer orientation towards healthy foods depends on the coordination of companies, public policies area and the consumer’s ability to make choices. At the same time, consumer orientation depends not only on consumer awareness - knowledge and ability to choose foods consciously, but also on the possibility of making this choice, which is ensured by coordinated actions of companies and state. In this research, we consider a problem of optimal regulatory policy design, where the task is to determine the sugar tax rate maximizing the social welfare and stimulate healthier consumer choice. Based on the literature review, a model for coordinating multidirectional interests of market players (state, companies and consumers) to ensure the regulation of sales of unhealthy foods has been proposed. We test the model using consumer panel data and draw conclusions for a specific local market. The model helps to determine optimal prices and taxes on relevant food products.