HFSS rules on store placement will have ‘huge impact’ on retailers

Rules limiting the location of HFSS foods in shops will continue to have a “huge impact” on retailers, as the restrictions are scheduled to to go ahead in October 2022 as planned.

The UK government is delaying the restrictions on multibuy deals for foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) until October 2023, giving itself time to monitor the impact of the restrictions on the cost of living in light of an “unprecedented global economic situation”.

However, restrictions on the placement of less healthy products – a key part of the government’s commitment to reduce obesity – will still come into force in October 2022 as planned. These will mean HFSS products are no longer promoted in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and any online equivalents.

READ MORE: PM accused of ‘playing politics’ with kids’ health as HFSS rules delayed by a year 

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The government’s insistence on pushing ahead with costly and confusing regulations at a time when consumers and retailers are facing significant financial pressure is nothing short of astonishing.

“While everyone else is trying to navigate the worst cost of living and cost of business crisis in memory, the government is regulating to send officials round to shops with tape measures to make sure yogurt and pizza aren’t displayed too close to the door or on the end of an aisle.

“Going ahead with the location restrictions in October this year, costing thousands of pounds per store, will have a huge impact on thousands of small businesses that are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Retailers cannot absorb these costs; they will ultimately have to pass them on to their customers during the same month that everyone’s energy costs are set to skyrocket.

“We once again urge the government to rethink these regulations and to properly consider the implications for retailers and consumers.”

A ban on TV adverts for HFSS products before the 9pm watershed and on paid-for adverts online has also been delayed to January 2024.

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