22 April 2021

We all enjoy sweeter things in life. Whether it’s a cheeky ice cream, the odd cake or nibble of your favourite choccy bar, it can’t be doing us that much harm, can it?  

Apparently, it can.  Within a balanced diet, sweet treats and the occasional processed food meal make life easier and more enjoyable. Looking to discourage over-indulgers, the UK Government have begun a policy to remove temptation of foods that fall into high sugar category.

What is the new policy?

In short, it’s a policy to restrict the way in which products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS products for short) such as confectionery, crisps and pastries are sold and promoted to consumers.

The policy is intended to reduce excess purchases and overconsumption of HFSS products and aims to encourage retailers to provide healthier options in key selling locations, enabling consumers to make healthier and more varied choices in their purchases.

Why the government thinks we need it…

Regular overconsumption of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) is one of the key factors contributing to weight gain and, over time, obesity.

Previous attempts to change the way consumers manage their indulgence purchases haven’t been too successful, so the government have decided that now might be time to make a change.

Where products are positioned in shops has an impact on how likely we are to buy them. The visibility of products in a retail environment has an encouraging effect on shoppers and ultimately influences which products they choose to buy.

There is evidence to show that when products are placed in convenient and eye-catching locations, such as shop entrances or aisle ends, sales of these products are positively

impacted. Many supermarkets dedicate 43% of their entrance and highly visible gondola end and checkout locations to promotion of HFSS foods.

Who’s affected?

Most medium to large retailers are affected in the new policy. Typically, if you’re a specialist retailer (such as a chocolatier), if you have less than 50 employees or your store is less than 2000 square feet then you’ll be exempt from the new legislation.

You can find out more about who’s affected under the legislation here: Who’s affected – Find out more

What products are included?

The list includes; soft drinks, cakes, chocolate confectionery, sugar confectionery, ice cream, morning goods (for example pastries), puddings, sweet biscuits, breakfast cereals, yoghurts, sweetened milk-based drinks, sweetened juices, pizza, ready meals and meal centres, including breaded and battered products (for example curries, chicken nuggets, breaded chicken/fish), crisps and savoury snacks, chips and similar potato products.

HFSS foods affected in new sugar tax

The new policy also proposes to ban the volume promotions of these products. Some examples of these could include buy one get one free (BOGOF), multibuys and extra free.

Impulse purchases in key selling locations

Evidence increasingly suggests that even when consumers are attempting to make healthier choices, the shopping environment can encourage impulse purchasing of HFSS products.

Promotional offers of HFSS products in key selling locations are a significant driver of impulse purchasing resulting in overconsumption which increases the risk of obesity and serious long-term health conditions.

But that’s all set to change. If the policy is passed by parliament, then key selling areas such as store entrances, aisle ends checkouts, self-checkouts, queuing zones and the kiosk will be banned from HFSS promotion including the two metres surrounding them.

When is it happening?

The Government intend to lay their proposed legislation before parliament in mid 2021. If passed, there will be a period of 6 months classed as an ‘implementation period’ before the new restrictions come into force in April 2022.

What happens next?

Well to be honest, we don’t know either. What we do know, is we have to wait to find out. What we can do, is get prepared and work together to find new key selling locations around the store.

An opportunity for FMCG brands

If the new legislation comes into force, then it’s time for brands and retailers to get creative. There will still be a demand from consumers for special offers and promotions of HFSS products, so it’ll be time to start thinking of new ways and areas in-store that can be utilised.

There are a huge number of opportunities available in medium and large sized stores that FMCG brands can utilise and pave the way forward for HFSS point of sale. Disruptive retail displays to attract consumers include; clip strips, creating premium shelves or bays, or taking category lead over the seasonal aisle.

If you’re keen to find out some other ways in which you can create retail displays around the store, check out our article ‘What Retail Displays are the most Effective? The Ultimate Guide’

The most effective retail displays

Working closely with us, we can help you to generate retail marketing activations that will not only demand shopper attention, but also drive purchases.

Looking for new in-store retail display ideas?

We’d be happy to help! Our retail design specialists are ready to help you create a retail display that delivers to your objectives and remains within budget.

Want to see what we can do? Take a look at our portfolio

Please contact our sales team on 01530 839777 or email info@threepd.co.uk

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