“It’s set to be the most radical crackdown on HFSS food and drink marketing and promotion in the world, promising to tackle the chronic obesity crisis gripping the UK.” – The Grocer
The ban on junk food advertising seemed to be at the forefront of FMCG news last year… but is anything actually happening soon?
Food industry and advertising bosses were calling for the ban to be delayed for up to a year, with the backing of the government. The impending HFSS ban for 2022 looks like it has been delayed until 2023..
HFSS Clampdown Conference
The Grocer is running a comprehensive one-day conference programme to clear up the questions…
When is the HFSS Clampdown Conference?
9am-5pm Tuesday 15th March at America Square, City of London.
What will the HFSS Conference cover?
- Range reviews
- In-store marketing
- Shopper behaviour changes
- Store layout plans
- Exemptions and opportunities
- The future of advertising
- The role of online and social media promotion
- Likely impacts on obesity
- Further health policy developments
- The role of new product development
- … and more
Find out more here… https://thegrocer-conferences.co.uk/live/en/page/home
Health Secretary Delays HFSS Ban
Sajid Javid, Health Secretary, has said that the government is still “absolutely committed” to its obesity strategy, despite the delays on the ban.
The government gave Javid powers to postpone the restrictions, on the basis that the time frame for companies was “unworkable”.
The Steps of the HFSS legislation
The first part of the legislation, the ban of HFSS in-store promotions, is still set to come into play in October of this year, which is expected to result in the biggest changes to supermarket layouts in over 40 years.
Supermarkets and store operators are working on trials at the moment, but with the industry arguing for more time – this could be delayed too.
The 9pm watershed for HFSS TV ads and online ads is on hold, after delays by the government suggest a new deadline of January 2023.
Giving brands more time to navigate their strategies and prepare better for the impact of the advertisement restrictions.
How can brands navigate the HFSS restriction rules?
For the FMCG organisations that are already focused on creating healthier options, the HFSS restrictions are a great opportunity to bring their products to the forefront.
The delays also give the organisations that would be negatively affected, more time to strategise and plan their options.
In 2018, when the sugar tax came into play – brands took it as an opportunity to promote healthier options and re-design their current best-sellers. An example of this was Cawston Press. They changed their recipe to fit in with the restrictions and saw a sales increase of 11%.
Embracing the new norm and making innovative choices could be the way for food and drink brands to continue to succeed – or in fact, succeed in a whole new way.
To reiterate, even with the delay, this will still be one of the toughest marketing restrictions ever applied.
With multi-millions currently being spent on online food advertising and TV advertisements, it will affect all paid forms of digital advertising: adverts on Facebook, paid searches, text messages, etc. The marketing of food & drink products will completely shift.
This will be the biggest diet intervention in the UK since rationing during World War II. The difference being – this new law is being enforced to tackle the apparent obesity “crisis”, one of the biggest health problems in the UK at the moment. Boris Johnson feels that this is critical when referring to the health complications surrounding COVID-19 and health issues.