The restriction on promotions of products high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) by location came into force on 1st October 2022. It’s a law that could cost food and drink manufacturers a fortune, so let’s take a look at how they reacted to the restriction, and what you can do to remain compliant.
Why was the ban introduced?
On 27th July 2020, the UK government launched its tackling obesity strategy, sharing the action it will take to tackle obesity and empower adults and children to live healthier lives. Whilst the policies outlined in the paper could reduce pressure on the NHS and save lives, the legislation to end the promotion of HFSS products has garnered criticism from manufacturers.
How have manufacturers responded to the restriction?
In April 2022, Kellogg’s took legal action against the government, arguing that the legislation fails to take into account the nutritional value of the milk or yoghurt added to cereal.
“We believe the formula being used by the government to measure the nutritional value of breakfast cereals is wrong and not implemented legally,” said Chris Silcock, Managing Director at Kellogg’s UK. “It measures cereals dry, when they are almost always eaten with milk. All of this matters, because unless you take account of the nutritional elements added when cereal is eaten with milk, the full nutritional value of the meal is not measured.”
Kellogg’s lost the court case in July 2022, and won’t be appealing against the ruling.
Implementation of the restriction on 1st October 2022 means that food and drink manufacturers now have no choice but to change their ways of working.
What will the ban mean for manufacturers?
The restriction on HFSS products will inevitably lead to food and drink manufacturers spending more of their budget on reformulating their products – or creating new non-HFSS ranges entirely. In fact, it’s already happening…
In April 2022, Weetabix teamed up with Lyle’s Golden Syrup to launch a brand-new flavoured non-HFSS cereal. The partnership aims to tap into the increasing demand for tasty yet nutritious cereals low in fat, sugar or salt.
“Innovation is key to driving cereal sales and introducing people to the category. We expect that the combination of both iconic logos on pack will capture attention in store, whilst as a HFSS-compliant range, we’ll be able to support the launch as usual in the months ahead,” said Gareth Turner, Head of Marketing at Weetabix.
One month later, Mars UK launched a HFSS-compliant ‘Triple Treat’ range for four variants: Mars, Galaxy, Snickers, and Bounty. The treats – available as single bars and multipacks – are high in fibre, fruit and nuts, and are 100% exempt from the regulations.
“At Mars Wrigley, we’re thrilled that Brits can now enjoy a great tasting – and HFSS-compliant – Galaxy, Mars, Snickers and Bounty treat. It’s tasty reinvented,” said Kerry Cavanaugh, Business Unit Director at Mars Wrigley UK.
Meanwhile, in September 2022, Valeo Snackfoods – parent company of Barratt – launched a sugar-free, HFSS-compliant version of its famous Flump marshmallows. This is part of a much bigger plan to develop a range of non-HFSS products, and follows the launch of its sugar-free Fox’s Glacier sweets.
“We know that healthy eating has become a higher priority for consumers, with more and more people looking for sugar-free and low-sugar versions of their favourite confectionery,” said Russell Tanner, Marketing Director at Valeo Snackfoods.
How to remain HFSS compliant
Innovation is the key to success in any industry, but developing new non-HFSS products – or reformulating existing ones to ensure they’re HFSS compliant – isn’t easy. To bring your ideas to life, you need a team of knowledgeable technology innovators who are up to speed with ever-changing food and drink regulations. We have just the people in our network.
At Silven, we recruit middle, senior and director-level roles across functions including:
- Supply Chain (Procurement, Logistics, Distribution and Planning)
- Quality/QA, Technical, Food Safety and Regulatory
- Research & Development (R&D)
- New Product Development (NPD)
Get in touch with us today and we’ll source, interview and onboard experienced and knowledgeable individuals who’ll ensure your products are HFSS compliant.