SUGAR SMART NEWS AROUND THE UK
Government moves one step closer on restricting promotions
The Department for Health and Social Care has now issued the detailed technical guidance and proposed enforcement process for new restrictions on in-store location and multi-buy price promotions on food and drink high in fat, salt and sugar. Children's Food Campaign responds.
In response to the publication of the new guidance, Children's Food Campaign Co-ordinator Barbara Crowther says:
“We welcome the publication of the new guidance which sends a very clear signal of the Government’s commitment to implementation of new promotions restrictions from 1 October 2022. They are urgently needed in a context of sharply rising health inequalities and childhood obesity prevalence. We hope this puts an end to the confusion created by recent backbench and backdoor industry lobbying to get the Government to dilute or delay their introduction. Retailers and manufacturers must now rise to the challenge and opportunity to put healthier food and drink products into the spotlight in-store, as well as focus price offers on core shopping basket goods that will genuinely address the cost of living pressures on families.
“We’re pleased to see that the technical guidance provides a comprehensive and updated list of product categories, clear definitions and diagrams for the location-based restrictions, as well as clarification on the sizes of stores and businesses that are in scope of the new regulations, as well as what is exempt and out of scope. We hope with this new guidance the whole food and drink industry can move into a constructive phase of implementation ready for 1 October 2022."
The Children's Food Campaign has been campaigning to take junk food out of the spotlight next to till areas for over two decades. We submitted both health expert and parents' views into the full Government public consultation during 2019, and further consultation on the proposed draft legislation and technical guidance during 2021. In December 2021, Parliament passed The Food (Promotions and Placement) (England)2021 legislation, which restrict multi-buy deals and prominent location displays, both in-store and online, for a targetted list of products that are identified as contributing the highest levels of excess sugar, salt and calories to children's diets.
Despite this, the media has reported on significant pressure on the Government to dilute or delay implementation of the regulations, citing cost-of-living concerns, despite evidence that buy-one-get-one-free deals on HFSS products do not save households money, but increase spending and divert budgets from healthy to less healthy food and drinks.