Restrictions on multibuy deals and advertising foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) are to be delayed for a year, the UK government has announced.
According to a government release, restrictions will be delayed in light of “an unprecedented global economic situation” and to give industry more time to prepare for the restrictions on advertising. However, rules limiting the location of allegedly “unhealthy” foods in shops will go ahead as planned in October 2022.
Rules banning multibuy deals on foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) – including buy one get one free (BOGOF), ‘three for two’ and restrictions on free refills for soft drinks – will be delayed for a year.
Economies across the world have been affected by higher-than-expected global energy and goods prices, leading to increased costs across supply chains which are affecting both businesses and consumers.
The restrictions banning HFSS adverts on TV before 9pm and paid-for adverts online will also be paused for a year, it has been announced, meaning they come into force in January 2024.
Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said: “We’re committed to doing everything we can to help people live healthier lives. Pausing restrictions on deals like buy one get one free will allow us to understand its impact on consumers in light of an unprecedented global economic situation.”
Last month saw laws on calorie labelling in large restaurants, cafes and takeaways come into force.
The Food and Drink Federation’s chief scientific officer Kate Halliwell said: “We welcome the UK government’s pragmatism during the cost of living crisis. At a time when both families and our manufacturers are struggling with high inflation, it makes sense to delay the restrictions on volume promotions for everyday food and drink products, including breakfast cereals, ready meals and yoghurts, as it risked further stretching already pressed household budgets.
“We also welcome the delay to the start of advertising restrictions, given the time it will take our industry to prepare for the change in law.”