Kellogg’s loses court battle against government over sugary cereal promotion rules

Cereal giant Kellogg’s has lost its court case against the government’s new rules on the promotion of sugary foods in supermarkets.

The parent company of Coco Pops and All-Bran brought legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) over new HFSS regulations due to come into effect this October.

Kellogg’s had previously argued that the government’s formula does not consider the nutritional benefits of milk, which is typically consumed with cereal at breakfast.

However, a ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice sided with the government. Kellogg’s will not be allowed to promote sugary cereals in supermarket special offers.

READ MORE: Young activists challenge Kellogg’s over misleading health claims

In-store promotions on food and drink high in fat, salt or sugar will be restricted under new rules for England.

Despite, the food titan had argued milk is eaten with cereal in most cases and therefore it should be included in the nutritional calculations that determine whether a product is too unhealthy to be prominently displayed.

Under upcoming regulations, retailers will face restrictions on food and drink high in fat, salt, or sugar in England. The new rules come as part of ministers’ bid to tackle childhood obesity.

The judge, Justice Linden, ruled: “In my judgment, the true position is that the fact that, in their detailed responses, none of the breakfast cereal manufacturers raised the issue during the consultation period of more than a year tends to support the view that the ‘as sold versus as consumed’ issue had long since been resolved, was well understood and was accepted in the sector.”

“But the argument that there are nutritional benefits to the consumption of a given breakfast cereal does not affect the point that if it contains excess fat, sugar or salt, that feature of the product is adverse to a child’s health.”

Linden added: “Still less is it an argument against seeking to encourage, for health-related reasons, the promotion and consumption of breakfast cereals which contain less fat, sugar or salt.

“Nor does mixing a breakfast cereal which is high in, for example, sugar, with milk alter the fact that it is high in sugar.”

Kellogg UK managing director, Chris Silcock, said the firm was “disappointed” that the court upheld the government’s approach.

“It makes little sense to us that consumers will be able to buy other products, like donuts and chocolate spreads, on promotion – but not many types of breakfast cereals,” he added.

The new rules were due to start in October but have been delayed by the government due to the cost-of-living crisis.

This news comes as young activists challenge Kellogg’s over “misleading” health claims.

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