Klein’s Supermarket, a family-owned grocery store near the iconic Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, doesn’t sell as many sweet fizzy drinks as it once did.
Since the City of Brotherly Love’s so-called soda tax went into effect Jan. 1, sales of affected beverages are down about 60 percent at the store, said co-owner Steve Klein. Like Cook County’s penny-per-ounce tax, Philadelphia’s measure applies to thousands of sugar- and artificially sweetened beverages, but at an even higher rate of 1.5 cents per ounce.
“Once it passed and people saw the price, some people would just leave their drinks at the register and say ‘Forget it. I’m not going to pay that,'” Klein said.
That may sound familiar to some shoppers and retailers in Cook County, where the sweetened beverage tax went into effect earlier this month.
In the early going of Philadelphia’s measure, revenues have come in lower than expected amid persistent legal challenges from the beverage industry. But city officials say they’ve still raised almost $40 million that’s allowed them to expand pre-kindergarten for 2,000 children, among other programs.
Cook County is paying close attention.
“One of the good things about having them go first is we’re able to adjust our…