At the end of 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published the long-awaited response to the consultation on restricting promotions of food and drink which are high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS foods).
The response, which can be found here, confirms that from April 2022 promotion of HFSS foods in terms of location and promotional activity will be restricted. Location restrictions will apply to store entrances, aisle ends and checkouts as well as their online equivalents. Retailers will also be prohibited from offering promotions such as “buy-one-get-one-free” or “3 for 2” offers on HFSS products.
Whether a food is classed as HFSS will be determined using the Nutrient Profiling Model.
The restrictions will apply to medium and large retailers (with 50 or more employees), including symbol group stores.
Prepacked food and drink in the following categories will be in scope of the restrictions: soft drinks, cakes, chocolate confectionery, sugar confectionery, ice cream, morning goods (for example pastries), puddings, sweet biscuits, breakfast cereals, yoghurts, milk-based drinks with added sugar, juice based drinks with added sugar, pizza, ready meals, meal centres, including breaded and battered products, crisps and savoury snacks, chips and similar potato products.
In the Out-of-Home sector the restrictions will also apply to free refills of sugar-sweetened drinks.
The restrictions will not apply to micro and small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) or stores that are smaller than 185.8 square metres (2,000 square feet) (even if they are part of a medium or large business with 50+ employees). Specialist retailers that sell one type of food product category e.g. sweet shops are also exempt.
Legislation is due to be laid in England by mid-2021.
A consultation on the enforcement of the restrictions has now been launched and can be found here. All responses must be submitted by 22 February 2021.