How to prepare for the new HFSS regulations in England and Wales
From 1 October 2022, it’s anticipated that new regulations will affect the price promotion and placement of food and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) in England and Wales. This new legislation is part of the Government’s efforts to improve consumer diets by encouraging them to make healthier choices. Read on to learn more about the regulations, which businesses are affected and how to prepare.
How are HFSS products affected by the new regulations?
The new legislation will restrict the price promotion of certain HFSS products and where they can be placed in-store and online. Affected products will be excluded from:
- Multibuy offers e.g. buy one get one free
- Being included in free refill offers
- Promotion in specific locations in-store and online e.g. checkout areas
Which food and beverage products are included in the new HFSS regulations?
Fifteen food and drink categories have been listed in The Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021 as products that are to be given a score using a Nutrient Profile Model. The included categories are as follows:
- Soft drinks
- Savoury snacks (e.g. crisps)
- Breakfast cereals
- Ice cream and similar products
- Cakes and cupcakes
- Sweet biscuits and bars
- Morning goods
- Desserts and puddings
- Sweetened yoghurt
- Pizza (except bases)
- Roast potatoes, fries, wedges and similar products
- Ready meals including breaded or battered products
- Meal centres
- Breaded and battered products
In addition, each category may list other criteria to determine whether a product is included in the scope of the regulations.
Which businesses do the HFSS regulations affect?
The new regulations will affect retailers, manufacturers and food business operators selling their food and beverage products in England and Wales. However, the onus will be placed on the retailer to comply with the regulations. Some exemptions do apply to specific store sizes and types.
How can I prepare for the HFSS regulations?
Step 1: Find out if your products are within the scope of the regulations. The 15 categories listed in the regulations are a good place to start.
Step 2: Calculate the nutritional score of your products that are within the scope of the regulations. This is calculated by using the product’s recipe, nutritional information and the Department of Health’s Nutrient Profile Model. The score of each product will determine if the restrictions apply.
Step 3: Make a plan on how to move forward taking into consideration new and existing regulations on HFSS products in the UK. There may be opportunities to promote alternative ‘healthier’ products in place of HFSS products or scope to re-formulate your products to improve their score.
If you need support to prepare for the new regulations our expert regulatory team will help you:
- Understand if the regulations apply to your products
- Calculate HFSS scores
- Comply with restrictions in-store and online