HFSS policy delayed due to cost-of-living crisis

The government is considering delaying high fat salt and sugar (HFSS) supermarket restrictions due to pressures of alleviating the cost-of-living crisis for consumers.

The HFSS policy, originally due for October 2022, was set to ban volume price promotions such as ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘2 for the price of 3’.

However, as food prices have increased by 5.1% in the year ending in February, DEFRA has come additional pressure to scrap the regulation aimed at ‘tackling obesity’.

READ MORE: How will HFSS legislation play out on the supermarket floor?

As a result, DEFRA is now considering pushing back the ban as part of a new initiative in Whitehall to limit the effect of inflation on consumers.

The potential U-turn comes after the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) wrote to the prime minister urging for a review of the introduction of HFSS policy citing the burden on convenience retailers, the uncertainty of the rules, and the lack of official guidance.

The Association has warned that if HFSS regulations were to be implemented this autumn, it could cost the convenience sector over £90 million alone.

In a Food and Drink Federation (FDF) meeting on 22 March, DEFRA minister George Eustice nodded to the potential delay of the HFSS policy. Eustice also said climate change and environmental protections could be delayed to reduce increases in shopping bills.

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