Starting January, All Sweetened Drinks in Israel to Be Taxed

Sugared drinks will be taxed one shekel ($0.32) per liter, while the tax for diet drinks and fresh-squeezed natural juices will be 0.70 shekels per liter

Ronny Linder
Ronny Linder
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A man chooses fruit juice in a supermarket in La Martinique, 2013.
A man chooses fruit juice in a supermarket in La Martinique, 2013.Credit: JEAN-MICHEL ANDRE / AFP PHOTO
Ronny Linder
Ronny Linder

The Knesset Finance Committee approved a tax on sweetened drinks on Tuesday that will apply to nearly all drinks – sugared drinks, diet drinks and even natural juices.

For sugared drinks, the tax will be one shekel ($0.32) per liter, which will be levied on any drink with more than five grams of sugar per 100 milliliters. For diet drinks and fresh-squeezed natural juices, the tax will be 0.70 shekels per liter.

Haaretz Weekly Podcast | The secret Israeli files revealing massacres of Palestinians. LISTEN

But Finance Committee chairman Alex Kushnir (Yisrael Beiteinu) said the panel decided to exempt natural grape juice, which many Jews use for ritual purposes. It also exempted lemon juice.

The tax will go into effect in January and is expected to earn the state 380 million shekels a year if consumers’ habits don’t change.

The declared goal is to reduce Israelis’ heavy consumption of sweetened drinks, which contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, artery disease and cavities, and urge them to switch to water. Drinks account for more than 60 percent of Israelis’ excess sugar consumption.

Kushnir said at Tuesday’s meeting that the Finance Ministry also agreed to add 40 million shekels to a planned government campaign to reduce sugar consumption, on top of the 80 million shekels already budgeted.

Because the tax increases with the size of the bottle, it will be especially felt by purchasers of family-sized drinks. A 1.5-liter bottle of either regular Coca-Cola or Coca-Cola Zero, for instance, currently costs 6.90 shekels at Shufersal supermarket. The prices will now rise to 8.70 shekels and 8.15 shekels, respectively, which constitute increases of 26 and 18 percent.

For 330-milliliter cans, in contrast, the increase will be much smaller – just 0.40 shekels, or seven percent, for sugared drinks and 0.30 shekels for diet drinks.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can