gordons llp mark jones food and drink lawyer

Mark Jones Quoted In National Media Reacting To The Introduction Of HFSS Regulations

Monday 3rd October 2022

Mark Jones, partner at Gordons and an expert in the food and drink supply chain, has been quoted in widespread media, including The Independent, Mail Online, Sky News and Forbes, reacting to the introduction of new HFSS regulations in grocery stores and online.

From October 1, products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) can no longer be placed in prominent locations in-store or online, including shop entrances and till areas.

Mark said: “The grocery sector has been preparing for the introduction of new rules on the promotion of HFSS foods in store and online for some time. We’ve seen manufacturers including Kellogg’s challenge the definition of HFSS because they think the ban on promoting products, or displaying such products in prominent positions, is likely to result in reduced sales.

“But challenging primary and secondary legislation is a difficult task. Others have focused on new product development, with a number of brands launching low sugar variations of popular products in recent months that won’t be subject to any restrictions.

“Liz Truss recently raised the possibility of scrapping the anti-obesity strategy but the phase 1 restrictions are going ahead and retailers need to be sure that they display HFSS foods in-store or online in line with the new regulations.

“All eyes will now be on the future of this strategy – could the PM’s comments mean that the promotion restrictions on HFSS foods (due to come into force in October 2023) and banning advertisements for HFSS products on TV before 9pm and in paid-for online ads (due to come into force in January 2024) will be amended, delayed or even abandoned?

“The fact remains that 28 per cent of adults in England are obese and a further 36 per cent are overweight. Childhood obesity rates in England soared during the pandemic reaching an all-time high. 28 per cent of children are now overweight and 41 per cent of 10–11-year-olds are overweight, which doesn’t bode well for the future. Obesity currently costs the taxpayer more than the police, fire service and judicial system combined.

“The new Government may be concerned that HFSS are unnecessary regulations, but something needs to be done to tackle rising obesity rates. More short termism won’t make people thin.”