Philadelphia Store Owner: If People Want a Soda Without the Tax, They'll Leave

Jeff Brown Talks To Dom Giordano on Latest Sugary Drink Tax Study

Dom Giordano
May 16, 2019 - 1:43 pm



According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Philadelphia had a 38% drop in sugary drink sales due to the sugary drink tax implanted in 2017. Shop Rite and Fresh Grocer storeowner, Jeff Brown, discussed the study with TalkRadio 1210 WPHT on the Dom Giordano Program.


“If you recall, they gave a preview of a report, like a year ago, that basically said ‘Jeff Brown’s a liar. He didn’t lose any volume, no grocers lost volume, it’s a made up thing.’  The interesting thing is where did they get the data from, from me. We know my volume was down. “


Brown continued, “What happened [was], [University of] Penn, the Mayor and Bloomberg lied. They completely fabricated that and I called them up and said ‘I understand a Mayor lying; I don’t understand the University of Pennsylvania lying.. So you better go check your numbers again because you got them from me.’ Of course after that, Acme, my competitor, reported the same loss of volume that I had. When you talk about Philadelphia Acme, Shop Rite and Fresh Grocer are pretty much all your grocery stores. So if all of us are down 15% in volume, how could it be we’re not down?”


Brown also questioned the city taking credit for a drop in soda consumption because of the soda tax.


“ That’s probably not true either. There was a study done by Northwestern and other universities. They used the same data the Penn used and they determined that there’s been no reduction in consumption. There’s a situation here where you have academics based on whose paying them are lying for the people that are paying them.”


Brown went on to tell Giordano that the Northwestern study shows that if people want to get a soda or a sugary drink, they will find a way.


“The study that I value the most is Standard and Northwestern study that says that anybody who wants a soda and doesn’t want to pay the tax just leaves. They leave the city and go to one of the stores in Cheltenham or my Fresh Grocer of Wyncote or the Acme on City Avenue and they buy all the things they want without the tax.”