Legislation: new regulations on food promotion

Date : 05 January 2021

The government has confirmed that sales of certain food and drink items will be subject to new restrictions from April 2022. Food and drink that is high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) will be affected. Restrictions will include:

  • Location in-store (e.g.: cannot be promoted at end-of-aisle)
  • Location online (e.g.: cannot be promoted on home pages)
  • Volume price promotions (e.g.: BOGOF)
  • Free refills of HFSS drinks in out-of-home locations

Pre-packed food in the following categories may be affected, although specific items will be identified via nutrient profiling:

  • Soft drinks
  • Cakes
  • Confectionery
  • Ice cream
  • Morning goods
  • Puddings
  • Biscuits
  • Cereals
  • Yoghurts
  • Milk-based rinks
  • Pizza
  • Ready meals
  • Meal centres
  • Breaded and battered products
  • Crisps and savoury snacks

Only stores over 2,000 sq ft will be affected, although this will include some larger convenience stores. This may be a particular issue for convenience chains with stores of varying size, as some stores will be affected by the new rules and others will not.

Specialist retailers (e.g.: chocolatiers) will have some exemptions.

A technical consultation will determine exactly how these measures are to be enforced – this is now underway and will conclude on 22 February.

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