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Pepsi Pulls Larger Bottles in Soda Taxed Philly

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Mar 23, 2017

Pepsi is pulling 2-liter bottles and 12-packs of its products off of store shelves in Philadelphia over the city's new tax on sweetened drinks. The company says it wants to offer products and package sizes working families can better afford. The 1.5-cent-per-oz. tax on sweetened and diet beverages is imposed at the distributor level. If fully passed on to the consumer, it totals $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-oz. bottles. The company's decision affects sodas including Pepsi and Mountain Dew and other sweetened drinks such as Gatorade and Lipton Iced Tea.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's office says the industry was trending toward smaller sizes well before the tax passed.

Earlier this month, Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo cited the tax when announcing layoffs of 80 to 100 workers at distribution plants serving Philadelphia.

The city's tax on sweetened beverages raised $6.4 million in February, says a report on In fact, the new tax on sweetened beverages is exceeding expectations. The tax funds pre-K and community schools, and also will help pay to renovate recreation centers, libraries and parks.