Michael Bloomberg, who tried unsuccessfully to ban jumbo soft drinks when he was mayor of NY, gave $1.6 million toward lobbying efforts in support of Kenney's tax and he was also a major donor for the latest measures, although the industry spent more. The ballot measures in the three California cities would levy a penny-per-ounce tax, while Boulder's initiative would add a two cent-per-ounce tax.
But it's too late: The cultural tipping point on soda is already here.
In March, the United Kingdom passed a fairly significant soda tax.
"We applaud voters for rejecting the big spending and false arguments of outsiders and standing up for what they knew was right for their community", wrote Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, in a statement.
These wins are proof that the conversation about soda is changing. "We also are reformulating and reducing sugar in a number of our existing beverages, and innovating to create more new low- and no-calorie product choices".
The idea of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, which the measures would do, was initially an esoteric idea hashed out in medical journals.
"We're definitely going to take this show on the road and teach people the best practices on how to beat the big soda industry", she said. The tax will directly affect the soda distribution companies and not the stores that carry the sugary drinks, reported by SF Examiner.
Proponents say sugary drinks contribute to obesity, diabetes and other health problems, and that the tax is a small price to ensure the health of children targeted by the soda industry.
Sweetened beverages are linked with type 2 diabetes - where typically, the body becomes resistant to insulin. "The interest of the public must be prioritized over those of corporations". But if the three California cities pass the tax, they could all work with Berkeley to make the tax more enforceable.
KO stock is down about 1.8 percent on the year, while PEP is up less than 6.6 percent. And in this study, there was a dose-response relationship: the more sugary drinks, the greater the risk of diabetes. The amounts that were raise were almost as much as senate campaigns. Meanwhile, an Orange-Mango Nantucket Nectar has 58 grams of sugar and an Odwalla Vanilla Protein Shake has 43 grams. "Soda taxes just add to the impetus for them to be mindful of price mix as an element of growth and innovations and other things", rather than just focusing on increasing volumes. The new tax would add about 18 cents to the cost of a 12 ounce can of soda, $1.08 for a six-pack or $1.02 for a two-liter bottle, and goes into effect on January 1, 2017. Pro-tax supporters spent more than $20 million on campaigns, with most of the money coming from Michael Bloomberg, who tried unsuccessfully to impose portion limits on sugary drinks as mayor of New York City. $832,694 was raised by the Healthy Boulder Kids advocacy group in Boulder, Colorado.
But while these taxes are proving to be popular with voters, the battle over soda taxes has also revealed that Big Soda will pull out all the stops to thwart them.
Opponents, backed largely by the American Beverage Association, have spent at least $26 million. There's little doubt of similar projections in North America.
Philadelphia became the first large USA city to pass such a measure in June, when the city council approved a levy of 1.5 cents per ounce on nonalcoholic beverages with added sweeteners. Those of us following the movement nationally believed it was a bellwether.