How to advertise and promote HFSS foods
Further restrictions on the advertisement and promotion of foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) come into force in October 2022, as part of the Government’s 2018 initiative ‘Tackling Obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’, The aim is to reduce consumption of less healthy foods and to reduce obesity levels within the population.
What is an HFSS product?
The FSA nutrient profiling model is used to determine whether a product is classified as HFSS. This model uses nutrition data and ingredient information to determine a total nutrient profile score. Foods or beverages scoring 4 or more are classified as ‘less healthy’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nutrient-profiling-model
Do the restrictions affect all HFSS foods?
No, only pre-packed HFSS products in these categories are included in the scope of the restrictions:
- soft drinks
- chocolate confectionery
- sugar confectionery
- ice cream
- morning goods
- sweet biscuits
- breakfast cereals
- sweetened milk-based drinks
- sweetened juices
- ready meals
- meal centres, including breaded and battered products
- crisps and savoury snacks
- chips and potato products
It does not include foods that are pre-packed for direct sale or foods sold loose.
What are the restrictions on advertising HFSS foods?
There are already restrictions in place for the advertising of HFSS to children, but these are now being extended to include a 9pm watershed for all TV advertising and on-line paid advertising. This restriction will be enforced by OFCOM and the ASA.
What are the restrictions on promoting HFSS foods?
Businesses will no longer be permitted to:
- run promotions offering multibuy promotions such as ‘buy one get one free’ or ‘3 for 2’ offers on products that are classified as HFSS products.
- serve free refills of sugary soft drinks.
- Micro and small businesses with less than 50 employees
- Products sold out of home e.g. takeaways and restaurants
Businesses will no longer be able to locate these promotions at:
- front of stores
- aisle ends
- by checkouts
- on website landing pages
- website payment pages
- Stores that are smaller than 185.8 sq. metres
- Specialist stores such as chocolate shops or cake shops
- Micro and Small businesses with less than 50 or fewer employees
Who will enforce the new rules?
These restrictions will be enforced by local authorities and further guidance will be published on how this will be implemented.
Is there any further information available?
Comprehensive guidance on the regulations is yet to be published by the Department of Health and Social Care.
If you require assistance calculating the nutritional profile score of the products that you sell and determining if they or your operation falls within the scope of the restrictions, contact Safer Food Scores.