Doe mij maar een suikertaks Tony's Chocolonely

Why Tony’s Chocolonely speaks in favour of a sugar tax

Tony’s Chocolonely kicks off the year in a somewhat unusual fashion; directly speaking up against one of its (inevitable) main ingredients. The company mentions the importance of health during corona times and the role of sugar in the worldwide obesity problem. That’s why the company wants to make some changes. Namely, they will proactively adapt information on their product wrapper, run campaigns to stimulate healthier choices and push for a broad sugar tax in the Netherlands. 

This move is part of a broader realisation among brands that aspire to make a meaningful impact: your purpose is not believable if you only act upon it when you stand to profit or break even. Sometimes you have to make decisions that hurt your own profits or be critical and transparent about past mistakes. Other examples include Patagonia’s don’t buy this jacket’ campaign, and Ace & Tate’s look we f*cked up letter

So even though this is not the first of its kind, it is still uncommon enough to feel like a fresh phenomenon to have sizeable companies put their profits on the backseat in instances where other things might be more important. With younger generations becoming more averse to the profit-driven mechanisms of capitalism (1,2), it might not be the worst idea for brands to flip their thought process around. Ask yourself not how society could work better for you, but how you could improve society — even to your own (short term) detriment.